"Offbeat" is a SmartShanghai column about stuff to look at or do in Shanghai that's interesting or weird (relatively, of course), that doesn't fit anywhere else. It appears weekly, monthly, or maybe even annually, when we're not busy working on other superfluous column ideas.
We came across this abandoned school. It’s down an alley not far from Xintiandi
. Right now its just standing open, there are no fences or guards. If you’re into vadding – which is a crappy way of saying you like deserted buildings – then it’s not hard to find.
The building is relatively new. It only looks about 20 years old. No idea why it closed but there are still little signs of its former life peeping through the grime. Everywhere there are signs instructing the kids to use Putonghua, not Shanghainese, and to write in simplified characters.
There’s another vacant on the other side of the playground. It’s bigger but the ground floor looks like it’s being used permanently as a dormitory for some local workers. Best to give them their privacy.
It looks like a few people might have been sleeping in the school but when we went in there was no one around. Though there are a few piles of shit in some of the rooms. Probably some vagrants slept in the school. Or maybe just used it as a toilet and moved on.
The building’s slowly being covered in green ivy, which creates a beautiful deep emerald light in some of the rooms.
Head up to the fourth floor and you can get out onto the roof. Up here, there’s some more rooms built with high ceilings. Everything’s in pretty good shape, though strewn with miscellaneous trash. There’s even this nice view of the skyline.
That's it. Perhaps a good place to pretend to be a ghost on a gloomy day.