Riverview High School (Sarasota, Florida)

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Riverview High School
1 Ram Way
Sarasota, Florida[1] 34238
United States
School district Sarasota County Schools
Principal Dr. Paul Burns[2]
Grades 9-12
Color(s)      Maroon
Mascot Rams
Rival Sarasota High School
A 2007 view of the courtyard entrance shows the former building's International Style architecture, where ornament was absent in favor of exposed steel and glass

Riverview High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school in Sarasota, Florida, United States. Riverview educates students from ninth grade to twelfth grade. The school has 2,654 students and 161 teachers. The school's mascot is the ram. As of the 2012-2013 school year, it is the largest school in the county.[3]

Notable programs at the school include the International Baccalaureate Program, a rigorous regimen that prepares its candidates on an international rubric and prepares them for further education; a Chamber Choir that has performed in Europe and New York's Carnegie Hall; and the Riverview High School Kiltie Band, a group of about 220 musicians that has marched three times in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and has traveled to perform in Ireland, California, and many other places. .[4]

The Rudolph building, 1958-2009[edit]

Riverview's old main building opened in 1958, and included a planetarium. The main building was designed by noted International Style architect Paul Rudolph, dean of the Yale School of Architecture. While Rudolph was later associated with the architectural style Brutalism, Riverview was in the International Style. It was one of the best-known structures associated with the Sarasota School of Architecture, sometimes referred to as Sarasota Modern.

The old cafeteria was located just behind the administration building, and opened onto this main courtyard

In 2006, Sarasota County approved spending an estimated $130 million on the reconstruction of the school, which would include demolition of the Rudolph building.[5] The new high school building would increase classroom space and bring the school's facilities up to date. The Rudolph structures would be replaced with a big parking lot.

The building's critics[who?] contended that Rudolph's roof design, which was intended to make runoff water resemble a "waterfall," caused water to pool dangerously in the hallways. School officials[who?] also asserted that mold was an ongoing problem.[6] Proponents[who?] for restoration of the buildings cited that inappropriate alterations to the original design had created some of the problems and that proper maintenance had been deferred as well, making the problems seem much greater, but that remedial action was feasible.[citation needed]

The demolition plans were opposed by historic preservationists, including the directors of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, the directors of the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, the founder of Friends of Seagate, and the president-elect of American Institute of Architects, Florida.[7]

Riverview High School was placed on the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the most endangered historic sites and was nominated for placement on the National Trust for Historic Preservation 2007 list of the America's Most Endangered Places. [8] It was also placed on the World Monuments Fund's 2008 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the listing "Main Street Modern."[citation needed]

At a January 2007 Sarasota public meeting, Kafi Benz, the founder of Friends of Seagate asked Andres Duany to relate the prevailing international opinion regarding the demolition plans for Riverview High School. In what time would prove overstatement, he said that Sarasota's reputation as a leader in the arts would be destroyed, forever, if demolition of this significant structure were allowed.[9] In February 2007, and after pressure from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the school board agreed to consider new options in lieu of demolition.[10]

Details of the novel approach in the former building to handle environmental factors in subtropical Sarasota

Considering the international concern expressed about the cultural value of the buildings, as well as the actions of a local organization formed to advance alternative plans for the new development that would include restoration of the Rudolph structures and placing the parking lot intended to replace it under the athletic fields, on March 20, 2007 the school board announced that it would allow a year for consideration of implementation of alternative proposals. This followed a charrette conducted locally by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where the plan for relocating the parking lot was proposed.

The office of architect Carl Abbott, FAIA, who is considered a member of the Sarasota School of Architecture, released information about a co-operative effort by the Save Riverview Committee, the Florida Association of Architects, and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, at which the documentary Site Specific: The History of Regional Modernism, by Susan Szenasy, editor in chief of Metropolis magazine, was previewed on March 24 at Burns Court Cinema in Sarasota. In the film, Szenasy explored the historic significance of Riverview High School and featured expressions of the concern of architects around the world compared with the designer of the new campus and a maintenance staff member at the school. The film was intended for a lecture tour of the United States by Szenasy, who planned to discuss the issues of historic preservation, community history, and the education of students.

On June 17, 2008, however, the school board voted three to two to raze Rudolph's structure. It was demolished in June 2009,[11] and the new school building opened in August of the same year.

Notable alumni[edit]



  1. ^ "Riverview High School". usnews.com. Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to Riverview High School". c2cschools.com. Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  3. ^ "Highlander Drum Corps". sarasota.k12.fl.us. Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  4. ^ "Tradition of Excellence". rhskiltieband.com. Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "THREATENED: Paul Rudolph's Riverview High School - docomomo united states". docomomo-us.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Sos1 (8 December 2006). "SAVE Riverview: New York Team Films Documentary On Riverview High School". saveriverview.blogspot.com. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ [4][dead link]
  11. ^ "Florida - Rudolph's Riverview High School Demolished - docomomo united states". docomomo-us.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°16′56″N 82°31′05″W / 27.2822702°N 82.5181527°W / 27.2822702; -82.5181527