28 September 2008

School Day!

Faced with an approaching hurricane, we had to cram as many abandonments into our weekend as possible before the rain and wind picked up.

Chris, again visiting Atlantic Canada, encouraged us all to get out and take him on another tour of Nova Scotia's forgotten buildings. We didn't expect a race against a massive storm to accomplish this task.

Saturday the 27th was spent relatively close to my home in Halifax. It was suggested by Adam and Steve that we explore several schools in the HRM which had closed up over the years and fell into ruin.

Our first stop was... Rotten Ronnie's... So Randy Chris could slam a couple cheeseburgers back for breakfast.

From there, we drove from the Halifax peninsula toward the South Shore, arriving several minutes later at a school in Timberlea which had obviously been abandoned for years. All of the windows had been broken over time and covered by wood. We walked the perimeter before finding an access point on the lower level of the building were a vandal had removed the boards from a window.

We walked throughout the school discovering it's many levels of disrepair. While some classrooms remained in relatively good shape, the ceiling of others had began to fail, allowing water to pour in over time. Seaweed insulation could be found hanging from holes in the ceiling where the plaster and tiles had gave way. Debris on the floor below the ceiling holes had turned to a slippery mush.

We finished our walk and made our way out of the building through the open window we had slipped in through. We replaced the boards on the outside of the window in an effort to prevent future entry by vandals, taggers and scrappers.

From Timberlea, we drove to Lower Sackville in search of another abandoned school. This building served many functions over the years based on the knowledge of Adam and Steve and the evidence found within. The building had obviously been a school at one point, as well as a community centre and food bank depot.

We parked to the rear of the building and quickly found an access point created in the same manner as the last school. It was immediately appearant that this building was far less pristene than that of the last. Examples of graffiti, some of the worst I've personally witnessed, and vandalism were everywhere. Heavy furniture and kitchen appliances had been toppled or tossed about. We must have found hundreds of cans of discarded spray paint, some still full.

The majority of the windows had been broken, many of them from within the building by what we assume are local vandals.

From Lower Sackville we drove back to Halifax and back to our home base... The McDonalds on Kempt Road. The team ate a few more cheeseburgers before heading to York Redoubt where we were able tour the Base Command Post (BCP) building normally closed to the public. Complete with electricity, we toured the BCP and it's underground bunker for nearly thirty minutes.