Well, to be fair, its only half an abandoned school. But in saying that, it used to be one very big school with two separate campus's that were linked together by a walkway that took about 5 minutes to walk between the upper and lower school. I'm* pretty familiar with this school as my older sister went there, and as a young whipper snapper I used to frequent Skateplus, which used to be next door to the top school, or bottom school, I'm not actually sure which campus it which, but Skateplus used to be next door.
Anyway so after only finding out last week, that the now closed campus has become a bit of a spot from some exploring, I decided to get involved before it got sold and knocked down. I'm not exactly sure how long since this campus closed, but I'm sure it wasn't all that long ago. As mentioned it was a school, a selective high school for the smart kids of the shire, unfortunately my sister got all the brains and I didn't pass the test to get in. It still looks the same as I remember, except the lack of intact windows and the cosmetic make over done by graffiti artists and rebel youths.
When you pull up out front, it's pretty impressive. The building is massive, and from the street you can tell its going to be a bit of a photogenic goldmine! There's a simple temporary fence around the perimeter, but a simple hop/climb over gets you in, or as we saw a guy walking his dog, just slide under part of the fence, and I'm sure if you follow it, you could find a hole or spot to get in. Once into the grounds, take a stroll around to the back of the building and you'll find someway to get in, we found a spot on the ground that led us in through a toilet and into the canteen, but we saw other openings as well when we had finished.
We headed straight to the top, and spent some time exploring the top level. The long corridors littered with glass and rubbish were a beautiful site in the early morning, with the soft morning light pouring in through the now glassless windows. Classrooms ranged from music to language to music rooms, headphones, papers, records and spray cans were a pretty common site inside. A mix of horrendous tags and some lovely graffiti pieces covered the walls of the classrooms and hallways. In some of the rooms we even found some Japanese Yen, origami, and some drums from an old drum kit.
Heading down to the middle floor, and of course there were more classrooms. This time though there were science labs, a music theatre, a drama room, some more music rooms and some staff rooms as well. The rooms here were bigger and more open, and seemed to contain some old school technology like projectors and amplifiers. All of the hallways here were lined with lockers, some busted open, and some still closed, who knows what goodies could be inside them!
After some solid exploring and snapping away, we headed back to the darkness of the ground floor for a finale. Majority of the bottom floor is dark, and too dark to really explore unless you got some serious lights. The canteen is still nice and bright and has a vintage bar-mix I wanted to take home! The floor is scatter with a pie tin and money bag mix, the cupboards have been raided and there's nothing left, but there are some nice old ice cream posters still hanging above the ordering bench. Venture into the pitch black and its got a few goodies lying around, so take a torch of a good flash for your camera, or both! Some papers from 2010 in perfect condition are sitting on the table as you venture into the void of darkness, as well as a lovely old stove top kettle. On the walls are metal pipes and other building materials, and then around a corner you'll find cupboards full of locker keys and padlocks, a couch tagged 2006 and some other random bits and bobs. Venture further in and you might even stumble across a cute little red kettle buried half in the sand, or some old rusty sheep shearers.
Exit through the toilets nearby and you're nose will thank you when the fresh air hits. We were running out of time so we didn't get to explore the who external part of the building, but it was still a good sight to see in the sections we did. There is another small building that looked like a metal and word work block, still with steel materials on the racks outside, and a few old rusted gas bottles scattered around as well. Due to time restrictions, we couldn't go in, but there was definitely access points.
Leaving the site, you can't help but to look back and admire the weird beauty of the old school. It's in a half way thrashed state, so the structure of the building is still perfect, but every window is smashed and there's not many walls without a trace of graffiti on them. It's nice to see a building that's newly abandoned for a chance, but I'd get here sooner rather then later, as real estate in the Shire is hot property, and you don't want to miss out on this little gem!
WHAT: An abandoned high school, well half of it, the other half is still operational.
SECURITY - MEDIUM: I give this a medium purely based on it's location, it's in a suburban area where kids are always playing and people are out in their yards and walking past, so they could alter the fuzz. Once inside unless you are having a rave or redecorating the interiors, you should be sweet.
INTEREST - 9/10: I was pleasantly surprised how good it was in here, I was going to give it a 8, but there was a lot of cool stuff to see. Graffiti, old school papers, headphones, tapes, records, projectors, lockers and lots of random school objects. As mentioned it's still young in abandoned terms, so it has a lot of charm and isn't completely trashed.
ALONE OR WITH A FRIEND: Personally I wouldn't go alone, with the amount of old Mr Juicy bottle hose-pipe foil coned bongs lying around, it wouldn't surprise me if you interrupted a bong smoking session in there, and a paranoid stoner with easy access to glass wouldn't be an enjoyable encounter. In saying that, as a building, its structurally sound and safe to go in alone, although would be creepy as alone, like something from The Last of Us or Resident Evil games.
DANGERS: Glass and a hell of a lot of it, and the possibly encounter with a paranoid stoner, besides that there doesn't seem to be anything there that could hurt you unless you try real hard!