I grew up in Ballarat and in around 2010 the Victoria Street campus of the once great Damascus College was closed, shortly after I moved away. Ballarat isn’t a large town so school closures are pretty rare. Even weirder, Ballarat has an affinity for “historic architecture” or lame “heritage listed” buildings to the point where the town refuses to knock down old buildings, so the two oldest school buildings are still standing to this day.
The guys who went to the school still wax nostalgically about the school, campus and grounds as a special time and place for them. But really, for most locals, the school’s last two standing buildings are now considered an eye-sore, meth den and locale for idiot teenagers to break shit (which they do, frequently).
I thought I’d stick my head into the buildings that are left standing and get some photographs of one of Ballarat Education’s throwbacks to another time, perhaps when country town life was different and everyone was connected. Now though, it’s pretty much a pit of tags, broken glass, kicked in walls and urine pools.
The junior campus situated on Victoria Street has fallen into ruin and abandon since it closed at the end of the 00’s and Ballarat’s heyday. Hilariously, the school sits on the main road into town and can easily be seen from the road, effectively meaning everyone and their dog on the way into Ballarat can get a glimpse of the once great school and it’s two standing buildings.
Inside the old schoolhouse buildings is much of what you’d expect: kicked in walls and ceilings, broken windows, graffiti, trash and the odd whiff of urine.