Submitted photos: Joel S.

Joel S. submitted these photos of three Kewanee Type C boilers in May 2020. In December 2018, Michael L. submitted photos of these same boilers, located in Ellet High School in Akron, Ohio.

Since Michael submitted the photos, Ellet High School has been decommissioned and, according to Joel, is about to be demolished. The boilers have had their doors removed and the burners have been disassembled.

Joel wrote:

“My old high school (Ellet High in Akron, Oh) closed and is being demolished. I took a lot of photos and many from the boiler room where I found 3 Kewanee type C boilers that are pretty amazing considering that they lasted from 1950 though 2019. They had some tube repairs along the way but were still working.

“I was talking with some of the demolition guys this week and they mentioned how well built the old schools are and how the construction, equipment and hardware was made to last. The fact that those boilers lasted 70+ years is pretty amazing. Even the school was solid but there were concerns about asbestos and it was probably time to update.”

Joel also wrote the following, in regards to the demolition timing.

“I think the school had until 12-31-19 to remove anything they wanted to save from the school, so I suppose that was the official closing date. After that, the Akron law enforcement used the school for training along with FBI explosives training (blowing some of the doors off to gain entry).

“Before that, there was a final walk through on 10-20-19 where the school was open for several hours to allow former student and local residence to see the school for the last time. There were other tunnels and odd nooks that were unknown to many that I wanted to explore but got tied up with former classmates and couldn’t move around as I wanted.

“The school was fenced off and they began the raze just a few weeks ago. They worked up to the boiler room which is half below ground and half above with a second story which looked like it had some pumps or control valve hardware. It would be easier to look at a schematic or the blueprints to see how it all worked together. There was also an old diesel generator in there that was a cool vintage piece. Finally above the second floor is the smoke stack and I think they are trying to currently calculate how to get that to fall the right direction.”

Click on an image to view a larger version.

Front of one of the boilers.
The burner control panel for the boiler, with the door open exposing the modernized controls.
The doors removed from the Kewanee Type C boilers, exposing the tubes. According to Joel, the boilers have been retubed over the years.

Joel also made the following video giving a “tour” of the boiler room and rooms connected to it.

Joel clears up confusion as to who Dr. Conrad Ott is:

One funny thing that most people won’t get is Dr. Conrad Ott was the Akron public schools superintendent from 1966 through the 90s I believe, so that sign was probably once used to reserve seating or parking for him at some event. He would rarely close the schools for snow, even heavy snow and sub zero temps. People weren’t as lawsuit crazy back then either.

Photos submitted May 18, 2020. Originally posted May 20, 2020. (Archived page.) Last updated December 16, 2021.