19 July 2012 Reclaiming materials from a school

I went to my old secondary school, Highfields, on this date to discuss taking away the glass from the buildings. This is because the school is being demolished and their new one is already in place. They agreed to let me just have it as I informed them that I would like to build greenhouses for new allotments from it. Gavin and Ian, two of the people from the above mentioned will go there next week with me to make a start on removing it. I also have people from the local council trying to find some storage space for me so things are going very well these days.

24 July 2012

This week, the new team started obtaining the glass from Highfields School in Wolverhampton. Our original plan was to get as much as we could to use for building greenhouses. We made a good start but the more we realised there were so many resources which were due to be destroyed in the demolition process, we started to think more. Instead of writing about it, take a look at the short video where I describe what we took and for what reasons.


[vimeo 46716371 w=500 h=375]Reclaimed materials to be used for new projects.

The next day I went to see a storage unit that some council workers had arranged for us to use for free. We’re able to use a large space, which in the light of what I described in the video, will be very useful to keep things for future projects. Ian, or Catz, as he prefers to be called, had the great idea of making use of the furniture in the school, which was to give it away to community centres and the like, so that they don’t have to suffer as a result of the cuts in public spending. There are literally hundreds of chairs and tables available, as well as cupboards and shelves and so on, that the school had no plans to keep. I contacted the head of school developments for the city and he gave us the authority to effectively take whatever didn’t get labelled. I thought the best thing to do was to make an inventory of some of the items and advertise it here to community centres.

6 August 2012

I went into the school to make a start on the inventory, as well as shifting some of the furniture to the end of the school which will be the last part to go down. I then made up a page of this, which you can see here. I then needed to get the word around so emailed a few places and institutions and my ‘colleagues’ from the council helped out again and sent the page around to many more centres.
By this evening, I’d already had two places get in touch and over the next two days, there were more than 200 visits to that page and 15 centres requesting items. Because we had so much at our disposal, I was able to say yes to practically any request they made and it was a great feeling to know that we were able to make such a difference that otherwise wouldn’t have come about if we hadn’t intervened.
We would be helping a variety of centres: those that had no money but needed furniture, those that had lost a lot in recent flooding and one that had just lost everything in an arson attack. It means a lot to know you can help out so many for no cost simply because we organised things ourselves.


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