School History

Riverside Elementary


Riverside School, located on the corner of South Park Avenue and Riverside Drive, opened its doors for the first time on September 20th, 1921. This eight room elementary school welcomed one hundred and fifty seven children in Grades 1 through 6th. Kindergarten was opened a few days later. Mrs. J.J. Phillis who had been connected with the Rockville Centre schools for nearly six years became the Principal. The teachers assigned to Riverside were Beulah B. Benton, Kindergarten, Ruth S. Mabbatta, Grade 1, Frances Van Woert, Grade 2, Jean Fraser, Grade 3, Anna May Eagan, Grade 4, Jane Swart, Grade 5, and Fayette G Smith, Grade 6. The following excerpt from a local paper at the time says it all...

...While this is only an eight room elementary school, it is one of the best appointed buildings it has been our pleasure to visit. The building is not only modern in every one of its appointments, but it is a beautiful specimen of architecture. This last feature speaks well for the architect Mr. Blauchard. This new building is beautifully furnished and is in every way a tribute to the public spirit of this community.

Riverside began its year long 75th anniversary celebration on September 19, 1996. On June 4, 1997 a grand finale was planned. Dr. Johnson, the Board of Education, Mayor Murray and many Riverside alumni were present at the re-dedication ceremony. The Riverside students and staff participated in historical skits, sang popular songs from the 1920's and enjoyed a slide show of Rockville Centre-Then & Now.

As the result of a capital bond issue, a brand new wing consisting of a state of the art library- media center, and three large classrooms was build onto Riverside; it opened in January 1998.

This building has seen the installation and the dismantling of portable classrooms, building additions, and new playgrounds. It has survived floods, fire, and tornadoes. Through it all Riverside still remains the community's "Center Hall Colonial" that continues to welcome students, provide them with a comfortable place to learn and gather the confidence they need to move up through school and embrace the future.