🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

Pull up a chair, make a brew and chat with other members. Chat about any subject you want...

Moderators: inspector, Dragonrider, jay, thecaretaker

Post Reply
User avatar
thecaretaker
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 4061
Joined: Fri, 15th Jun 2001, 1:00pm
Jun 2020 29 15:56

🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

I thought I was the lucky one, getting a job as a Site Manager/Caretaker at a brand new (90's) school. Firstly, I had been 24 years in Catering. I didn't know the first thing about being a school caretaker. That's why I set up this website.

From the out side, the building looked very impressive.

321560590_eeb10910f2_b.jpg

But then the cracks started to appear. Literally, plaster started falling off the walls.
The fan convector heaters very soon became dented and many were hanging off the walls.
The very expensive bespoke switches for lights and power sockets broke.
Corridor doors fell off almost by the dozen every week.

Many of the thousands of lights (2D Lights) were failing. Not the lamps, the switch gear in the fittings. They were placed in suspended ceilings and the heating pipes and hot water ring mains ran through the ceilings behind the light fittings. The switch gear couldn't operate at such high temperatures.

We constantly had floods in the many toilet blocks due to vandalism. Often soaking the carpets in corridors.

Almost everywhere was carpeted. Carpets often stunk as pupils had to eat in the classrooms as the canteen couldn't accommodate all the pupils (1200). From spilt drinks, dog poo and vomit, carpets are not a good idea in classrooms. I'd go as far to say they are darn right unhygienic.

We had chipboard laminated desks. The head told me he had budgeted for a 5 year turn over of desks. Some didn't last 2 years.

I envy you guys with old Victorian schools.

Cast Iron radiators that if pupils tried to kick them, all they would do is hurt themselves.

Ceilings so high that pupils couldn't reach the light fittings.

Desks made of real wood that would last over 100 years. My desk at school had ink wells and the caretaker used to sand them down, give them a coat of varnish and they were good for another 10 years.

Toilet were outside that could get hosed down with disinfectant. Kids didn't mess about in them, it was too bleedin' cold in the winter.

High windows they couldn't lean or fall out of (used to have an opening at the top on ropes, remember). Many of our windows had lost their handles and couldn't be opened.

Boilers you could burn all your rubbish in and heat the school.

It's sad to say, that we live in a chuck away society and nothing is designed to last like the Victorians over engineered.

You'd think an architect would learn from the lessons of the past. But no, they start with a fresh bit of paper and win awards with their stunning designs with no thought who will fit the bill when it all come crumbling down.

I assure you, I have just brushed the surface, I could go on for hours moaning about some of the stupid design ideas the architect built into my school. One is the corridors on our top floor (You might be able to see in that photo). The corridors had glass ceilings and the temperature in the summer was astronomical, way hotter than a greenhouse (cleaners were unable to work in the heat) as only 2 windows in each corridor were able to be opened.

That was also the reason why much of the plaster fell off the walls. It was a steel framed building clad in plaster. At the bottom of the steel was cold and at the top, it was extremely hot. The heat would change as the day/seasons changes and the constant fluctuation in temperature within the steel caused the plaster to fail.

If you have a Victorian school, be happy with what you have got cos it don't get much better. Architects have learnt nothing from their mistakes. And they have been making mistakes throughout the 30's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. No doubt they are still working in the same way.

Moan over -Big grin.png-
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
fa-quote-left Vérité Sans Peur fa-quote-right
("Truth Without Fear")

User avatar
Hey Wayne
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 543
Joined: Fri, 28th Jun 2019, 8:36am
Jun 2020 29 17:13

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

That is very true CT..

In many old buildings I have worked in it is not the original fabric that needs work but where a "modern" addition has been added on or old good fixtures had been replaced with cheap modern not fit for purpose fixtures.


You would think they would learn.... -Shock.png-
i'm going to need a bigger bucket! -JawDropped.png-

User avatar
magpie
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 663
Joined: Sat, 12th Mar 2005, 2:36pm
Jun 2020 29 17:41

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

Same here C/T.
New school 18 years ago and it won loads of awards for the style of it. The Architects and builders used to ask me to take prospective clients around and show the building off, which i did gladly. Unfortunately when I told the visitors that the heating didn't work (still doesn't after 18 years) the roof leaked, the ventilation was dodgy and basically you froze in the winter and boiled in the summer (big glass roof for full length of building) the architects and builders told me they didn't need my help anymore -Big grin.png-
You are only as young as your knees let you feel.

User avatar
EBJ
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 4789
Joined: Sat, 1st Nov 2008, 5:38pm
Jun 2020 29 18:52

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

You are dead right re Victorian built schools CT they were built bullet proof and vandal proof back then, steel, brass and hardwood and no soft flooring just wood and lino. the outside toilets is the one thing i always remember about my Junior school when a kid was the caretaker in brown overalls and wellingtons with a fire hose turning it on full bore and soaking every thing walls, floors, sinks, urinals cubicle's he would go in one end that never had a door and go right the way through to the other end which had no door.

We had massive cast iron radiators in the class and as you said very high ceilings and each one of us had a desk with a lift up lid and an ink well which was my best mates job of collecting the ink wells and putting them in the desk ink well hole, all corridors were gloss painted in green at the bottom and cream at the top and a careful black painted line along between green and cream. Doors were massive hardwood one's with brass push plates and door handles and brass bottom kick plates and brass floor mounted door closures.

Stair cases were solid stone and again brass grab handles all the way up and wrought iron balustrading, oh yes and every now and again on the railings were lumps like big rivets to stop you sliding down them, our windows were as stated very high and opened by a fixed brass handle you had to wind to open or shut them. every thing was bolted to a wall or floor which mad little opportunity for us to tear them off or up and every piece of wooden furniture was very heavy and very strong made of wood no MDF or hardboard back then.

Oh yes they could learn an awful lot about building schools to last in the Victorian age. -Success.png-

fa-quote-left SIGILLUM MILITUM XPISTI fa-quote-right

User avatar
EBJ
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 4789
Joined: Sat, 1st Nov 2008, 5:38pm
Jun 2020 29 19:03

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

Just thought i have an old picture of the infants and boys school i went to, not sure of the date of this picture but it was Victorian built, boys school knocked down but the infants was grade 1 or 2 and was turned into flats when they built a brand new school. -Like.png-

featherstone infants school.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

fa-quote-left SIGILLUM MILITUM XPISTI fa-quote-right

User avatar
thecaretaker
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 4061
Joined: Fri, 15th Jun 2001, 1:00pm
Jun 2020 30 05:02

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

EBJ wrote:
Mon, 29th Jun 2020, 7:03pm
Just thought i have an old picture of the infants and boys school i went to, not sure of the date of this picture but it was Victorian built, boys school knocked down but the infants was grade 1 or 2 and was turned into flats when they built a brand new school. -Like.png-


featherstone infants school.jpg
That's a spitting image of my Junior school when I was a lad. Just a bit smaller. Hasn't changed much. Had 2 entrances, one for boys and one for girls.

Annotation 2020-06-30 050145.png

And this was Priory Road 'Hastings Secondary Modern School for Boys'. Now been turned into housing. Note the high top opening windows. High ceilings allowing plenty of air to circulate within the classrooms. Them were the days...😉

101389521-204994-800.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
fa-quote-left Vérité Sans Peur fa-quote-right
("Truth Without Fear")

User avatar
rigsby
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat, 19th Oct 2013, 12:29pm
Jun 2020 30 05:30

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

Your 100 per cent right, I work and live in a grade 1 listed Victorian school, however they do require a lot of maintenance and strangely enough the modern additions the school has had over the years give us the most problems.

User avatar
EBJ
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 4789
Joined: Sat, 1st Nov 2008, 5:38pm
Jun 2020 30 12:37

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

My school when i was a nipper and what it looks like today as private housing, at least it has another life. -Like.png-
featherstone infants school.jpg
featherstone school house (2).png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

fa-quote-left SIGILLUM MILITUM XPISTI fa-quote-right

User avatar
Keyolder
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 12:28am
Jun 2020 30 12:50

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

Those above pictures look very similar to the primary school I went to 60 years ago -Shock.png- you can't beat a Victorian built school -Like.png-
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it… -Crazy.png-

User avatar
scrubadub
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon, 27th Jul 2015, 9:15pm
Jun 2020 30 16:12

Re: 🏫 More about Schools Falling Apart

My school is around 100 years old, we are in a MTA and one is new build (still being added to each year for new year groups) the CT there said never again. 4 years old and bits are already falling to bits!

Post Reply