Urban Decay- Urban Exploration - Flint Central High School

Nothing sparks a general feeling of creepiness more than urban decay. 

There's something about places that were once filled with life now sitting abandoned. Some taken over by nature, some ransacked by vandals, other places sitting exactly like the residents just got up and walked away planning to return at any moment.

I am fascinated by urban decay imagery. Yet I cringe seeing how things are ruined and destroyed by time, nature, exposure and people's carelessness. 

I hate it for three reasons. 

One, I love history. I love antique and vintage items. Seeing things with historical value ruined hurts my heart. 

Two, I am a very eco/green person and to see things destroyed that could have been reused...ugh. 

And three, I am a very sentimental and nostalgic person. The things abandoned in this school really hurt me because they touch me in a personal way. 

Flint is my hometown and though Central wasn't my school, I did have friends that graduated from Central. In fact one photo found on the floor showcased one of my sorority sisters in her cap and gown.

Central is just one example of how far Flint has fallen, it just happens to be the largest.

Flint is a city sliding into abandonment. Entire neighborhoods are ghost towns. 

Most of the public schools have closed and the buildings sit empty and forlorn. Faint sounds of children's laughter and footsteps echo in the quiet halls if you listen hard enough.

Flint Central High School is the largest abandoned school in the area and the most photographed by urban decay photographers and curious explorers.

Flint Central is made up of several buildings making the entire campus massive. The school opened in 1923 and closed in 2009. 

They walked away from the school without removing anything. Everything was left to rot and be destroyed by vandals. I find this very sad.

The school could have given things to other schools and the area. All the schools around here are vastly underfunded.

Or to raise money Flint Community Schools could have sold artifacts to alumni. People are willing to pay a fortune for nostalgia from their school years. Instead diplomas, photos, and other high school memorabilia now litter dirty floors.

And the sad thing is that Flint Central's Alumni are very active. Every August they have a tailgate reunion on the school grounds and hundreds of former students attend. 

They still do this even though the school is closed. 

Most of them have no idea what a sad state the inside of the school is. 

They don't know that their memories have been discarded carelessly by the Flint Community Schools. The school should have gathered everything up and put it out either for sale or for free during the first event after the school closed in 2009. Now there's not much, if anything left worth saving.

All the photos in this post were taken during the summer of 2017. Since then Central has had at least 2 reported fires inside the building. Some people say the fires have been set to try and get rid of the school. 

The Flint Community Schools want to tear the buildings down and possibly build a new school. 

Many members of the carriage town community don't want a new school built.

And historical preservationists are blocking a tear down because of the history and architecture of the buildings.  

It's been a mess.

There's no money to fix it. And no one can agree on what to do with Central.

Eventually there will be nothing left to save and demolition will be the only option. 

This is what remains of the drama department's costume closet. All those things should have been donated to another school. We all know art departments are usually extremely underfunded. However Central had one of the best drama departments in the US. And they just left this all there to be ruined.

According to Wikipedia

"The Magnet Program for the Flint Community Schools ran the secondary school Theatre Program through Flint Central from 1976-2006. Prior to that Flint Central was long known as a leader in educational theatre locally, statewide and nationally. The program was led for many years by such notable teachers as Helen Hardy Brown, Maude Biegel, Jacqueline Oriet Kramer, Shirley Parola, James Olson, Jeanne Shoemaker and The Most notable and longest in the position was Martin W. Jennings who led the program from 1981-2006. It was during this time Central High School's Theatre program involved over 10,000 students for 25 years from all four of Flint's Comprehensive High Schools. From 1981 to 2006, over 127 full-scale theatre productions were staged including Broadway Musicals, Comedies, Dramas, One-Acts, Student Written Works, The Vehicle City, Improv Troupe and 10 works of William Shakespeare.

The program generally produced three productions every year, in addition to a magnet student showcase which raised thousands of dollars for a fine arts scholarship in the name of Donn Jensen, a supporter of the program who died in 1997. The theatre students of Flint Central have performed internationally and in numerous states. In 1989 and 1991, The Educational Theatre Association named Flint Central's Theatre Program as one of the top six high school theatre programs in the country. The theatre has also had an affiliated membership with The International Thespian Society (Troupe #575) since 1925. Many Alumni have gone on to have careers in the theatre. After changes made by the school board in 2006 to reform the school district, the magnet program was dissolved. In the fall of 2006, Rhonda Young was named director of the theatre program. Gina Morris Cicalo, longtime director of Whittier Theatre Magnet Program, was appointed theatre teacher at Flint Central for the 2008-09 school year. During her time at Central, theatre productions were not able to be staged due to facility-damage in the auditorium and scene shop."

They didn't even drain the pool.

The notes left on the last day of school were still visible on the chalk boards and white boards. Memories no one could erase, lingering like ghosts in the quiet building.

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