The Fish Finger School Part I

In my late teens I was a football coach for a girls’ soccer team. The girls were just four years younger than me and after quitting I remained friends with several of them. In fact I am the godfather of one of their children.

One of the girls moved to the capital region after my first season with the team. We’ve been following each other on social media for all these years, but haven’t spoken much. She noticed my content about abandoned houses and told me that she knew one place she wanted to visit and asked me to join her for a reunion after 14 years.

Of course I said yes.

When she told me about the place, I instantly recognized it. It was a school, which consisted of several buildings. The first one was built in the 1950’s, the second one in the early 1960’s. The place had been abandoned just a year earlier due to being in very bad condition, and it was scheduled to be demolished.

This school became nationwide news headlines in 2009 after the police was called there. The reason: a pupil had taken one fish finger too many during lunch.

A couple of weeks later the school was evacuated because the same pupil was rumoured to have carried a weapon. In the end the ‘weapon’ turned out to being a lighter in the shape of a gun. Even before these events someone had lit a firework inside, emptied a fire extinguisher and shat in the ventilation shaft. There was another incident in which the police came to the school, as a student was injured during the fight and hospitalized. In another instance the fire crew was needed, as someone lit up a broken toilet seat. The police was again needed in 2018, when somebody sent threats of a school shooting on Snapchat.

But in 2019 the school was closed. Keep in mind that it has been abandoned for just a year. During that time it has gone into horrible shape, so somebody really must have hated the place.

The first glimpse of the school from behind the bushes.

A better look at the 1960’s main building. Notice the excessive amount of graffiti.

And the excessive amount of vandalism. All windows are broken.

There was also a small wooden building belonging to the complex. Apparently they had run out of space at some point.

This is the original, 1950’s built part of the school. Later it was known as ‘The Language House’. Probably because language classes were located there.

As usual I started a walkaround the place and suddenly remembered being here five years earlier, when the school was still in use. I was at my uncle’s wedding on a wonderful, hot summer evening, when the temperature was around 30 degrees Celcius even at midnight. I wanted to leave with the last train and as I remembered us driving past a school from Vantaankoski station, I automatically expected to find the station by finding Vantaankoski school.

Except that it wasn’t Vantaankoski school that we’d passed. In the middle of the night in scorching heat I was running through a new area, which only consisted of freshly paved streets with no buildings between them trying to catch the last train of the night while listening to Vesala’s song ‘Tytöt ei soita kitaraa’. I made it to the train.

Even the sign says Language House.

The trash containers were in a small shed. I just love that style of drawing.

The language house from the back side. Its architecture was pretty interesting. And unusual for a school of its era.

In one end of the school was a wing, which was different from the rest of the building. I assumed that was for the teachers’ apartments. Back in the 1950’s it was common to build an apartment building for school staff. That was a way to attract teachers to schools in remote locations. And in the 1950’s this was a remote location despite being so close to the capital.

Another look at the junction of the apartment wing and the main school. Notice the difference in materials and style.

The apartment wing as seen from downhill. The entire school was built on a hill, and this was wonderfully taken into account in the architecture of the newer school building.

The newer school building. Once again I am guessing, but I think that the gym is located in this corner of the building. The windows hint at that.

Furniture had been carried out of the building. It looks like two people have sat here smoking cigarettes.

The end of the newer school, which I still believe houses the gym.

I believe that the letters were original. When lighted, this landmark was quite visible, as the school was located in the middle of nowhere, when it was completed.

The main entrance to the newer school building. We could have entered at once, but I demanded a complete walkaround of the premises. That’s something that I always do, as you probably have noticed.

Even school books had been thrown out of the building.

Whatever it is, it is very well made.

Some of the graffiti were indeed of quite a high quality. Such as this Spy vs Spy themed one.

There were more of them.

Now this is a direct reference to the fish finger incident. The cops are asking the Frankfurter to drop the fish finger. Ingenious.

And this is us walking on the yard of the language house.

We were scared shitless by that figure up there. We really thought, that someone was hanging in there.

But in the end it turned out to be just a figure of a person. We threw it inside.

In the next post we’ll enter the red barrack seen earlier.

Published by desertedfinland

A Finnish Urban explorer & Photographer

2 thoughts on “The Fish Finger School Part I

  1. So, after reading this post, I started reminiscing about my time at the fire department and felt like sharing a few chuckles. I’ve seen it all, from the somewhat predictable to the absolutely unexpected.

    During my fire department career, I’ve responded to countless situations that would make you scratch your head in disbelief. Like the time a distressed father called because their little one managed to get their finger stuck in a tiny hole under a table. Or, even better, the incident where a curious child, for reasons beyond my comprehension, managed to get their foot lodged in a toilet. And yes, someone had used it earlier and forgot to flush. We had to unbolt the toilet, and move it outside with the youngsters foot still stuck in it. There was poop everywhere.

    And yet, my absolute favorite, a peculiar call where someone was out of breath from literally running from the police. Why? They had the brilliant idea of robbing a convenience store. When we arrived, we were half expecting a medical emergency, but all this individual needed was a breather and probably some life advice. The police, who monitor our radio traffic stopped by and it ended up being the suspect they were chasing. His weapon and the money he stole was on his living room sofa next to him.

    I sure do miss those days, and I think about my career at least five or ten minutes out of every single day. Thanks for an entertaining blog post. 🙂

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