Derelict School | Soap Lake, WA | January 2020
City, county and school officials have argued for years that something needs to be done about this abandoned building. Asbestos, rodents, drug needles, homeless encampments — the place has its problems, that’s for sure. But the old Delancey-Houghton Elementary School is also one of the town’s most interesting structures. No roof, bare walls, ripped-up floors, empty windows and doorways give it a post-apocalyptic look that draws the curious. Seems like there’d be a way to clean it up, then open it up as an oddball attraction. After all, quirky Soap Lake already has must-see sights such as the Woolly Mammoth Mural, Lava Links Golf Course (no fairways, just sand, sage and basalt), the human-figure Native American Sundial and, of course, the perennially-delayed World’s Largest Lava Lamp (still in concept stage). Something old, like the school, could be something new to explore.