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Report - Church College of New Zealand - Hamilton - October 2014

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by WildBoyz, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Church College of New Zealand is a former private secondary school, positioned at Temple View in Hamilton. The site is owned by a Mormon religious and cultural group, and when the school was operational it was run by the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Officially, construction began in 1952, with the announcement that a temple would be erected in Hamilton, and upon completion - in 1958 - the entire site and its buildings covered approximately 85.5 acres of land; in its entirety the site includes a temple, a housing estate, a secondary school, a library, a medical centre, farm land and a significant number of dormitories for boys, girls and staff. The cost of construction was considerable, given that the surrounding land mainly comprised of soft peat and work on establishing solid foundations began in the early 1950’s. Throughout the construction period the design of the school and the social infrastructure of the local community was heavily influenced by church officials from Utah, until members of the church located across New Zealand also moved into the area. Many of the materials used in the construction of the commune’s buildings were locally sourced and a high number of Mormons from American, who were specialists in plumbing, mechanics, welding, painting, electrics and brick work travelled over to establish a communal way of life. Cultural influences of the immigrants are manifest as many of the buildings are based on typical American design ideals.

    Once in operation the secondary school located onsite taught New Zealand children and teenagers aged thirteen (year nine) to eighteen (year thirteen). In total 700 students attended the school and over 100 members of staff were employed in any given year. In 2007, however, the school ceased to accept new students, and by 2009 only 120 students attended the school and its number of staff members had been cut to 50. The school closed later that year. It is reported that a moderate tuition fee was in place, but the school received the majority of its funding from the church. Essentially, closure of the school can be attributed to the church who decided that the public schooling system offers quality education and it was unanimously agreed that a significant amount of money could be saved if the public system was utilised. Although certain parts of the commune still exist, primarily the temple, housing estate and farm lands, the school is set to be demolished, although part of the school is destined to be converted into a community centre. The medical centre and a significant number of the dormitories have already been demolished to the disappointment of many within the community. On an ironic note, the chairman of hearings commissioners pointed out that “it did not help that the motto of the Church College of New Zealand was ‘Built for Eternity’â€.

    After our little escapade inside Hamilton Central Station, we travelled outside the city centre towards the Mormon community, unsure of the progress of demolition. A couple of the members of Urbex Central NZ had attempted this particular location earlier in the year, however, they were met by a large angry mob of Mormon followers who decided to hunt them down. Luckily, escape, albeit a rather wet one, was made possible through the old peat bogs behind the site. This time though, we caught them off guard and approached the site whilst they gathered inside their church for prayer time. Access was simply enough, and myself and Nillskill managed to step inside relatively silently. Zort, on the other hand… … As I had my back to him while he entered, I thought he’d jumped through the solid glass window next to our entry point. The sound was unbelievable; something like a thousand glass bottles all shattering at the same time. Quickly deducing that we’d most likely been heard we raced on inside to gather as many photographs as possible. As it turned out, however, it seems our incredibly loud entrance fell on deaf ears; perhaps they’d reached the singing bit of their service? We were lucky in this respect too, because the site was huge. We spent hours navigating the many corridors and the various rooms and facilities Church College of New Zealand had to offer. Our last close encounter with the Mormons occurred as we wandered through the ground floor of library, and a car drove past the window as we were all stood staring back. Somehow, we weren’t noticed…? As we left the commune we decided, for one last venture, to drive through their housing estate and past the church; where the service was still in full swing. This time they noticed us and, as we drove past extremely slowly, every one of them stared out at us from inside. Cultic activity, it would seem, is a bit disconcerting.

    Explored with Urbex Central NZ; Nillskill and the 'ninja-like' Zort. Apologies for the pic-heavy report. As I stated previously, the site was incredibly big…


    1: Outside View of Church College of New Zealand

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    2: Sports Stands

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    3: Playing Fields and Farm Land Behind

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    4: PE Department Male Toilets

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    5: PE Department Male Changing Room

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    6: Pectoral Machine – The Remains of the Gym

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    7: Random Assortment of Old Gym Machines

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    8: Some Sort of Leg Press Machine

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    9: Gas Lanterns for Outdoor Education

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    10: Sports Equipment and the Dreaded ‘Spare Kit’

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    11: Swimming Pool

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    12: Swimming Pool Viewing Area and Offices

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    13: A View of the Pool from the Viewing Stands

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    14: The Shallow End

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    15: The Main Sports Hall

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    16: The Main Sports Hall Rear View

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    17: Scoreboard

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    18: The Main Sports Hall from Observation Room Above

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    19: The Main Sports Hall Seating/Upper Stands

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    20: Main Stage in Assembly Hall

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    21: Large Piano in Assembly Hall

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    22: From the Rear of the Assembly Hall

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    23: A View from a Seat

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    24: The Projection Room Above the Assembly Hall

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    25: The Upper Stands in the Assembly Hall

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    26: The Scaffolding and Ropes for the Stage

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    27: Inside the Large Organ in the Assembly Hall

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    28: The Costume and Props Room (Backstage)

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    29: Ping Pong Tables in Entrance Area

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    30: Cleaners Device – They Missed a Bit

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    31: Disturbing Service Poster in Main Corridor

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    32: Traditional School Projector

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    33: The Board of Awards

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    34: The Counsellors Office

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    35: The TV Room – A Good Teaching Resource… Apparently

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  2. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    36: Main Corridor Study Desks (Outside Lunch Hall)

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    37: A Machine in the Kitchen

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    38: Providing Good Nutrients to the Children

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    39: An Interesting Kitchen Appliance

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    40: The Remains of the Kitchens

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    41: Cello in Music Corridor

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    42: Song Sheet Stand

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    43: Keyboard Number 1

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    44: Keyboard Number 2

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    45: Amplifier

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    46: Sports/PE Classroom

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    47: Posters on the Wall in the PE Classroom

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    48: Swimming Float Outside PE Classroom

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    49: The Library

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    50: The Book of Mormon

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    51: Plenty of Wine Glasses in the Library Storage Cupboard

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    52: Outside of the Library (Dormitories in the Distance)

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  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Jeez didn't they leave some gear behind.

    You're certainly exploring that island like I've never seen before.
     
  4. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Fantastic!
     
  5. PopPunkJamie

    PopPunkJamie Irregular User
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    Liking this, auditorium and pool shots are splendid
     
  6. Boomstick84

    Boomstick84 28DL Regular User
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    Super nice that mate, top stuff as usual :thumb

    Looks like a cracking site. :)
     
  7. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Great stuff mate :thumb
     
  8. Limerick_Student

    Limerick_Student 28DL Full Member
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    Top class, that looks mint. You seem to be turning up a serious amount of stuff over there!
     
  9. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Wow awesome, leaving behind a PA with a proper cool mixing desk... insane.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Yeah. The amount of stuff left in there was ridiculous; and they're trying to save money apparently. Still, it made for a good explore! :) We'll see what else NZ has to offer...

    They had plenty. You should have said mate! :p:

    Cheers mate :thumb It was a good find, it had much more to offer than we expected.

    Haha, glad you like it :) Plenty more to come, just need to get round to doing the reports. There's more out here to explore than I expected to be honest.
     
  11. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Cheers for all the replies everyone! :thumb
     
  12. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    very nice mate!
     
  13. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Cheers :thumb
     
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