poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘reuse

early schooling – the fate of older buildings

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Since our first drive to the Grand Lake area to find old schools in the landscape, we have kept an eye out for others. I am realising these buildings have met one of three fates:

  • demolition – lost forever to the landscape
  • deterioration – left to decay and eventual collapse
  • re-purposing – restoration and maintenance for use as camps, sheds or community use


For example, the Bunker Hill School in Rusagonis, New Brunswick has been well maintained and is used as a meeting place in the community. The old school has been recently painted and has a wheel-chair ramp.


Bunker Hill School Rusagonis Station

Bunker Hill School, Rusagonis Station, Sunbury County, New Brunswick


The conservation of older buildings in the landscape is problematic. They have historical value, create community character, and serve as a reminder of the past. On the other hand, for derelict buildings without purpose, liability soon exceeds value. We are at a time in our history when the buildings associated with growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are succumbing to the vagaries of time. Older designs, although often sturdy, are not energy-efficient and don’t always fit our modern ideas of efficiency and convenience, or our 21st century need for parking areas, central heating, and convenient washrooms. As a result many older buildings, including churches, schools, halls and stores are lost from the landscape.


Mill Road School, Gagetown 2

old school at Mill Road, near Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick (Verified as Lawfield School, Gagetown #1)


Do you have older school buildings in your community and what has been/will be their fate?


Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 6, 2016 at 7:00 am

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