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What would you grab from a closing middle school?

 
gardener
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Got a flyer in the town newsletter today saying residents are welcome to take anything leftover at the old school building next weekend.

A new school building was just finished which they will start using from September. So everything left in the old building has got to go!

I have no idea what's left, but I'm hoping to grab a microscope and maybe a table from the science classroom. The ones with black tops, gas connections and a sinks built in.

Apparently anything is fair game as long as you disconnect and move it yourself.

What would you grab?


Picture says:
red text:"please help the prevent the spread of coronavirus...etc, etc."
text in box: "If there is anything you can reuse, please take it"
DSC_4445.JPG
reuse school flyer
reuse school flyer
 
gardener
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Take plenty of help if you are getting one of those tables (if they are the flame-resistant kind).

I say start hauling stuff out until they tell you to stop!😜 And ask, "Now, does this include parts of the actual building itself?"
 
pollinator
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Solid plastic and/or fiberglass school chairs make great tractor/mower seats if you keep them out of the sun!
 
master steward & author
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Japanese school?
Keep an eye out for Zokin or anything with the boro or sashiko style stitch work.  That stuff is worth more than gold here these days.

Tables are awesome!  

Any nice doors?

fixtures - lamps/handles/whatever.

 
gardener
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Anything from the art, science, and domestic/shop classes that isn't nailed down.  Nah. Forget that - take a pry bar, and get the stuff that is nailed down, too!
 
gardener
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Kitchen gear,  stainless steel fixtures,  appliances,  etc.
Also loot the maintenance shop.
 
gardener
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Hmmm... what shape are the black boards in? One would be great in a work-shop, and possibly cut up as part of kitchen cabinet doors for jotting down the shopping list on?
I think all you can do is take tools with you and see what's there. If building materials are fair game, it's way better to re-use than by new stuff that's generally built more poorly and has modern chemicals that off gas in them.
 
gardener
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Jordan Holland wrote:Take plenty of help if you are getting one of those tables (if they are the flame-resistant kind).



I'd like to second this.  Phenolic resin is extremely heavy.  When I moved into this house, the movers only just barely got my lab bench top into the basement.  They propped it up against the wall. It is so heavy that it took me a month to work out how to get it lowered down onto the dolly i made without breaking the dolly, the house, or me.

Then after a day of scooting it across the floor with my butt I spend a couple more weeks planning how to get it onto the bench.  I built a ramp and pulley system.  It buckled just as I got it onto the bench. I consider myself lucky to be in one piece.  
 
master gardener
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Going off the mainstream,  go to the science dept. Microscope has been mentioned, now get a scale, a condenser (distilled water), a flask, stoppers, and glass tubing. A bunsen burner could have multiple functions.

If you get a microscope, look for slides and stains.

First aid kit and  AED
 
r ranson
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take some photos?  
 
Carla Burke
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History books. In fact, if I had any kids still at home, I'd get all the various texts I could,  plus anything from the music department I could get my hot little hands on!
 
Amy Arnett
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Great ideas, everyone!

My list of stuff to look out for is getting pretty long. I'll take lots of pictures. I'm too excited about this and my husband is sick of talking about it. I'm glad I can muse about it here. Thanks, permies!

I'm imagining either only bare bones left or almost everything is left. I would imagine the powers that be would take as much as they could use at the new school; or maybe they want to keep the aesthetic of "new".

It sounds like a very orderly affair. According to the flyer, each person (hope my daughter counts!) gets three "tickets" per time. Each ticket you can exchange for a thing. Then I guess the "per time" means you can keep lining up at the reception desk to get three more tickets at a time until stuff is gone. It's an interesting system. Either the whole town will be there or just us and a couple friends I know who are also going.

Maybe I can borrow some equipment to move the table, maybe it will have to remain a dream....

Other things I thought of: basketball hoop (hard to find here), one of those chemistry glassware drying racks that's wooden with the angled dowels.
 
gardener
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John F Dean good idea on the first aid kit and AED.
 
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Amy, get to the school before they open the doors as I imagine there will be a long line of second-hand store owners and ebayers there to get the good stuff.

I saw a show recently about something like this.  I watch home improvement shows a lot.  In one they went to a school and got the benches from the auditorium. They cut them in half and made a booth for the kitchen nook.

Have fun and let us know what you got.
 
pollinator
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My first thought on such occasions is always going to be this: point me to the library! If there are books available, I'd hit them first.

Other than that, some very awesome suggestions already posted. I'd also mention any artwork in the way of paintings.
 
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What's your goal? Resell stuff to make money? Grab something unique for your home?

I've tried to think what would *I* take, but I didn't find a good reason to pick anything. Sure, desk are good quality, but what would I do with such a furniture in my house? I could pick some stuff for selling, but then I have to take the work to sell that stuff and I am not a good salesperson, my time is better expend in other things. Maybe a good old book you can find no longer in libraries. Maybe I could make some use of professional kitchen appliances, since I like cooking.

So it comes to whether is it worthy for you to pick those things up. And haul them... yikes.
 
pollinator
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(I'm going to assume things like books or microscopes were removed before that flyer was sent out. If not, then my answer would change. )

I would first look for things like file cabinets and shelving. Bonus if the library still has one of those card-catalog cabinets, those are the right size for most brands of seed packets.

Next, I would head to the kitchen and look for steel countertops.  I'm working on building a house, and because of certain physical limitations it's very important to me that the countertops on either side of the stove are made from something heat-proof. I can't lift heavy pots, but I can slide them easily enough. During canning season that would be essential.

After that, I would see about windows. Windows are expensive to buy new, so being able to reclaim those big classroom windows would be nice. For that matter, if there's a handicap-accessible bathroom I would get the grab bars from it. On really bad days I need them myself, and on good days they can hold towels.

Do the bathrooms have those motion-sensor faucets? I would grab at least one of those, so that during butchering season I could wash my hands without smearing blood on the faucet handles.

I'll probably think of more later.
 
pollinator
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If most things are still there then projector/projector screens might be something that you could use.
 
pollinator
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Hard to say without knowing what is available so I would just try to go prepared. A helper or two, a truck or two. Maybe a hand cart and or wheelbarrow(s).  Boxes and maybe packing materials for more fragile things.

I've had a little bit of experience with similar circumstances only mostly focused on architectural aspects rather than objects or furnishings so I would make sure to have full complement of fully charged tools. Drills and associated bits and drivers, saws both circular and reciprocating with plenty of blades.  Hammers, prybars, screwdrivers, wrenches and don't forget gloves, masks, safety glasses.

I might go for doors, woodwork, built in cabinets, lighting fixtures, windows, even flooring. Priority, stuff I wanted or could use, second, stuff that's worth a dime or two.
 
gardener
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For decorative purposes:  BIG maps and the periodic table of elements.  I see these all the time in hipster retro consignment shops and antique stores -- they are expensive.  

Brackets -- stuff that's used to hold up shelves and maps and other displays.  Heavy steel brackets are always something you'll use in the future.

If they've got a wood shop, grab clamps.  I was able to raid a wood shop of a middle school about 10 years ago and I carried out boxes of clamps.  Everyone else was grabbing other hand tools, but I've got most of that stuff already (and how many dull saws do you really need?).  But clamps -- you can never have enough of those.  I scored on those lovely old Jorgensen wood clamps -- got about 2 dozen of them.  They're covered with 30 years of wood glue and the patina of age, but that just makes them cooler.  I got a cool set of chisels as well.  Once I got them professionally sharpened, they were like new.

A BIG stainless prep sink from the kitchen.  Install this outdoors for processing veggies and such from the garden.  Don't forget to grab the faucet as well.  

The slate tops from chemistry/science labs.  You can repurpose those in 100 ways.

Lockers from the gym or even hallway lockers.  Used steel lockers are another hipster decorating trend.  The older, more banged up, more covered with old paint . . . that they are, the cooler they are.  For people living in small apartments, they make a great functional design element. I've paid a lot of money for these, but they are so cool.

If they are tearing down a gym, the floor may be made of maple or some other hardwood.  This kind of hardwood makes instant cutting boards or kitchen countertops.  If you can take it out in big pieces, it's such a great resource for future projects.

Old retro office equipment is always cool --- stuff like rolodexes, typewriters, and paper cutters.  There are always a billion file cabinets.  Run from them -- in a digital universe, they are a huge space-waster.

Maintenance stuff like mop buckets, paint brushes, big brooms, ladders . . . the best stuff will not be found in the classrooms (where most people head) but in the guts of the building.

Best of luck.

 
Marco Banks
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So . . . what did you get?

UPDATES Please!!!
 
Amy Arnett
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It was a long, hot first day and a little challenging to grab stuff and handle my 3 year old. Very thankfully, a friend was able to help carry stuff today, so him and my husband focused on big stuff.

There were a lot more people than I expected, which is nice because it means that most of the stuff will get used. We spend tomorrow taking out doors and windows, and rounding up as many boxes of small things, like stuff from the science room, so much cool stuff in their, as we can until they close the building. I guess the demolition crew will be starting work on monday.  

Spoils of day 1:
DSC_4625.JPG
drafting table!
drafting table!
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microscope I wanted!
microscope I wanted!
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nice big sink
nice big sink
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back of the sink
back of the sink
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stylish kerosene heater
stylish kerosene heater
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fancy xylophone
fancy xylophone
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gotta grab a globe
gotta grab a globe
DSC_4626.JPG
sturdy desk
sturdy desk
DSC_4624.JPG
the principal's couch!
the principal's couch!
 
Rob Lineberger
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That's great!  You couldn't ask for better IMO.  Each one is it's own score.
 
John F Dean
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Great score!!!  You went well beyond my imagination!
 
Jay Angler
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Sink envy here - serious sink envy! That would be sooo... great for an out door canning kitchen or processing area!

That microscope looks like it might be powerful enough to see what's living in your soil and compost, instead of just "hoping" there's lots like I have to do!

Good luck for the next few days, and I agree - it's great that there are lots of people re-homing what's there.
 
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