South Middle School

South Middle School

The spring of 1987 saw the exuberant release to summer vacation of the last class South Middle School would ever host. Since then it has sat, deserted and sealed off from the New Jersey community of which it was once a central part. In our years we have encountered few abandoned sites as fully boarded as this one. Nearly every window of the school, from ground level to roof, is sealed tight. The amount of graffiti within suggests this does little to keep out intruders, but what it does do successfully is banish nearly all sunlight from the interior. Opaque shadows transform the once bright and busy hallways into something more closely resembling a subterranean tunnel system. That most of the rooms and halls were stripped bare in 2004, in anticipation of an aborted renovation to private housing, further adds to the feeling of spelunking in a damp and lifeless abyss. Only the gym and the theater, which were to be retained for the use of future tenants, remain in something of their original condition. We were ever thankful for these holdouts – for in them is preserved all that last remains of this old school's original character and purpose.


Sealed up tight.


These hallways were once lined with lockers and classroom doors. That was long ago though.


The old gymnasium is still recognizable.


 The old auditorium is perhaps the most striking room in the old school, as, unlike much of the building it requires little imagination to picture as it once was.

The barren cafeteria.