When is a teardown not just a teardown? When it’s a salvage operation, too – like Arbor Heights Elementary

Lots of demolition work around West Seattle this month – and we’ve received some bonus information about one project: With major teardown work at Arbor Heights Elementary starting this week, SODO-based Second Use has spent three days on site “reclaiming materials that still had life in them to divert them from the landfill,” according to outreach coordinator Mary Anne Carter, who shared the photos and adds:

We recovered hundreds of items including slate, trough sinks, porcelain enameled barn lights, fir wall cabinets, fir built in cabinets, stainless steel sinks, and more.

Although the school was built in 1953, many of the fixtures were built in the decades previous and used in other schools before being moved to Arbor Heights. Tags and markings on fixtures listed John Hay School, Fauntleroy Elementary School, and others. Most of the inventory can be viewed on our website, though we are continuing to process items and add new material daily. …

It’s my hope that this provides the community with the opportunity to potentially reconnect with the furnishings of their formative years and glean a better perspective of what happened to the material that the school left behind.

Second Use is not involved with the Genesee Hill school-teardown project, according to Carter (work there also has intensified – here’s video we published on Instagram yesterday).

8 Replies to "When is a teardown not just a teardown? When it's a salvage operation, too - like Arbor Heights Elementary"

  • Rick September 11, 2014 (2:56 pm)

    Were these items “donated” to 2nd use or was there compensation?

  • jim September 11, 2014 (3:47 pm)

    You might move the construction date of the school back at least 3 years so my kindegarten, first and second grades won’t be just imagination on my part.

    Sad to see it go, Sealth class of 63


  • Elizagrace September 11, 2014 (4:12 pm)

    I was also curious about that Rick – Once upon a time Second Use was a reasonable place to find salvaged materials… now most of the prices are staggering. I hope there was some compensation for those items that were “reclaimed”

    • WSB September 12, 2014 (11:43 am)

      Reply from Second Use when I asked the question:

      Second Use works for the value of the materials and offers compensation in the forms of cash, store credit, or tax receipt for higher value jobs. Tax receipts are issued by our partner, Habitat for Humanity, for whom we salvage the materials and then consign for them on their behalf in our store. We just passed the $2 million support mark this month. In addition to direct compensation that may be received by the owners of salvage material, contractors and demo crews save labor and dump fees because of our involvement.

  • Mark Ahlness September 11, 2014 (6:53 pm)

    As tough as it was to look at the sale of parts of classrooms where so many taught and learned for many years, there is consolation in knowing that 1) much will be reused and 2) some will recognize the quality of the original workmanship and materials in that old building.

    In particular, the clear fir used in those cabinets is not something you find just anywhere these days. I’m happy to see that beautiful wood continue to provide service, comfort, and beauty somewhere else in this world.

  • AH Parent September 11, 2014 (8:37 pm)

    Does the school receive money from the sale of the items?

  • Rick September 13, 2014 (6:14 am)

    I’ll try to get my lawyer and accountant to translate that. If the word “is” was used as opposed to “may” I wouldn’t require their service. I would hope the alleged savings on labor and dump fees are returned to the taxpayers. Used to love your store but “First” use makes more economic sense now.

  • Krista September 13, 2014 (8:12 am)

    I’ll second Mark’s sentiment…….the wood built-ins and other finishes are unique and quality. I’m so glad so much effort is being made to salvage and repurpose. When can we expect the items to be on the sale floor at Second Use?

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