This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, March 21, 2011

North Newton Township School one more time

Almost a year ago I visited the North Newton Township School and did posts on the outside and the basement. I never did get around to showing what was upstairs.

 It is rather interesting that there is nothing in the building that can be reached without stairs--no worry about any kids with disabilities back then. When you enter either of the front doors, you can either go up or down. One of the up stairwells is completely blocked by debris.
The other one was passable, though it too showed the results of neglect, with huge sections of plaster no longer on the brick

At the top of the stairs is a small hallway. On the left are two large classrooms. At either end are coat rooms. Between the stairs was an office. It was in very bad shape, with a large section of the floor rotted and too dangerous to walk on. The roofing over this part of the building must have failed some time ago for the amount of damage that was in the room.
The two large classrooms are now one big, impressive room. One must tread carefully because with the large amount of debris on the floor, you cannot see where there are weak sections. This building is getting increasingly dangerous to explore. It is beyond repair and probably should be demolished. (I know that the historical preservation people do not want to hear that, but reality is that it has deteriorated too much to be saved.)

This building must have not been well insulated. Each room had four steam radiators, and steam radiators produce a lot of heat.
Below is the scene from the other end of the big room.
Below is the a picture from the same end as above, but from the other corner. Whoever Sara was sure wanted to let everyone know that she had been there.
From the main room you could see into one of the two coat rooms.
Below are valves on two of the radiators.
This was, I believe, the ceiling in the office. You can see the light coming through the roof, which means that the rain also comes through. Once a roof on an old building is breached, the inside of the building quickly deteriorates. Our buildings are not designed to take much water.
In a few places some of the decorative painting is still visible. I wonder if the students appreciated the little details like this.


Anonymous said...

It's so sad to see our "old school" just going to a slow grave. At one time it was the heart of the community. If my memory is correct do recall that there was once a "moveable wall" between the two rooms. (Maybe someone can help my memory on this point.) The large south room was for the 5th through 8th graders. The north room was for 1st through 4th. We had a large blackboard on the front wall where we did our numbers, language class, spelling etc. I had four different teachers in my first four years but Mrs. Abell was our teacher for 5th through 8th grade. This meant we were weak in the subject that was not her strong one. Can recall how in the fall our mothers would get together with extra garden produce and we would can that up for the winter hot meal to go with the cheese and peanut butter that we received from the goverment. Whenever someone would butcher some of the extra meat would go into the freezer for our hot lunch. The coat rooms had a hook for our coats and sweaters while under the roll of hooks was a bench where we could sit on to put on our boots and put our lunch pail. The middle little room on the west side was used mostly for a library and had the big school belltower there. Downstairs was the girls bathroom on the north wall, than the cafeteria, boiler room, recreation room and the boys bathroom on the south wall. There are so much more memories for another time.

Anonymous said...

I agree it is so sad. Brick schools were usually built well, and they could have a second life, a new reuse. Those walls could tell many stories about the children, families, and the community at large. Sad.