Thursday, March 3, 2016

No R and R at this Recreational Center

Sunday was an exploring day but it was a little ironic that once again we would be in a cold building when the temperatures outside were going to be in the 60's. I sincerely hope we don't have any more weekends like this, it's becoming a little annoying!
We were exploring an abandoned recreational center in The District but I'm not revealing the location for obvious reasons. It hasn't been totally trashed yet but there has been a lot of activity inside, graffiti painting, glass broken, and also some effort made to clean up, as we found numerous piles of trash throughout the building.
There isn't much news to be found on the center but it was closed in 2013 and there were hopes last year that it would be taken over by the YMCA and reopened as a revamped recreational center, but as of February this year those hopes have faded. A local resident has been blogging on the new local development and has been keeping an eye on the building, noting that it is now becoming more of a danger. There is structural damage due to neglect, the roof has been torn, windows smashed and a growing concern that homeless and drug users are residing there. All this within a few feet of a senior residential community.
We strolled into the place and instantly the temperature dropped by at least 20 degrees. I was glad I had my jacket. One of our team donned a mask that he picked up which I actually found quite creepy. I did pick up one for myself later, who knows, it may come in useful one day.
The graffiti was wonderfully vibrant on the drab walls, lighting the empty spaces up with color. I know it's vandalism but I actually welcomed it here. We were a little jumpy as we kept hearing noises, wondering if there were other people in the building that wouldn't welcome other intruders. But I realized that it was coming from one area and assumed that it was likely that area of roofing that had been ripped apart, flapping in the boisterous breezes outside.
The empty swimming pool was very interesting. I'd never seen an indoor pool empty before and I was curious to see how deep 10ft actually was. The floor was slippery under my soles though, so I didn't go into the 'deep end' in case I couldn't get out again!
While researching on the internet I found an article that a person had posted, showing results of tests he conducted on Department of Parks and Recreation pools in the DC area. A bacteria test had been conducted on 27 pools with one in three pools coming up positive. This pool was one of them. Yuk.
I noticed I had managed to capture a few of these colored chairs in my photos, but none as interesting as this 'pose'. I wanted to tug on it to see how well it was trapped in the security glass but I didn't want to ruin the photo op for any others so I kept my hands away.
This was the saddest sight in my walk throughout the building. A room filled with educational aids. Books, games, educational tools and teachers' guides had been left on the shelves, many still wrapped in plastic. What a waste, they could have been donated to homeless shelters or hospitals.
Mr Mask Man was trying to scare one of our crew from the depths of the pool but it obviously didn't work!
We finished up with a 'dip' in the pool, a great vantage point to capture the colors painted on the glass, and then we shot a few photos of our group. I couldn't resist stacking some together to make a gif of us boogieing the Urbex Twist!

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