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old Central School gave wonderful service until it was demolished in 1949 to make way for the recently enlarged Prince Charles School which housed Grades One to Eight, and, with its twenty-five class­ rooms and spacious auditorium-gymnasium, served the children of the central part of our City, until 1968 when fire destroyed all but the annex.

The financial crisis of 1886 caused the School Board to resign, and its duties were performed by a committee of citizens who kept the schools running until June 30, 1887, by voluntary payment of assessmen ts.

About this time, a new contender for educational recognition came in to the field for Portage la Prairie - Lansdowne College, a much publicized insti tu tion.

In 1888, Portage la Prairie public schools had been re-opened on a sound financial basis. Lansdowne College, its building today known as the Villa Court, had affiliated with the Arts Department of the University of Manitoba.

Al though the cornerstone for the first Portage Collegiate In­ stitute was laid in 1904, it was not until February, 1905, that classes were moved from the second floor of the Central School across the street into the new Collegiate. In the new eight-room school, built at a cost of $21,408 by contractors F. G. Humber and W. J. Simmons, the first teaching staff numbered five, under the principalship of Mr. George Young.

The present North Ward School, built in 1910, had for many years provided the educational requirements for the first four grades to children residing in the northern part of Portage Ia Prairie. T\10re recently North Memorial and La Vercndrye Schools have been erected in this area to serve more adequately the educational needs of the children to the end of Grade Six.

On December 28, 1915, the East Ward School was destroyed by fire. After some delay, a fine up-to-date ten-room school, planned by Architect F. R. Evans, was built at a cost of approximately $65,000. This school, now known as Victoria School, with an addition of eight classrooms and an auditorium-gymnasium, continues to cater to the elementary and junior high school needs of our children residing in the eastern part of the City.

In the western part of Portage la Prairie, Fort la Reine School was built in 1955 and gradually replaced the old vVest Ward School, a two-room solid brick structure, which was demolished in 1963. To