I had last visited the old cold-war era radar base at Edgar back in the autumn of 2007 with UrbEx buddy Jack Morningwood. As it had been some time, it was decided to make a return trip to get a sense of the rate of decay and the progress of a$$-hat vandals and other miscreants.
To this end, we hooked up with our veteran UrbEx buddy neX and newbie cereal83, who we will nick-name 'Heat-Score' for the purpose of this post. The new handle for cereal83 is by no means meant as a slight against him, just a temporary moniker which he has to endure for this post only.
After making our way onto the property, we made our way into the recreation centre which hosts the pool, theatre, canteen, gymnasium and bowling alley. Unfortunately, it appeared that the vandals and wall taggers had been rather busy since my last visit. Inside the gymnasium, the once-beautiful hardwood floor was now buckled and lifted up which looked similar to a miniature cordillera.
There was not much difference noted within the pool area from the last visit. However, within the locker rooms, some destructive imbecile went to town on the remaining ceramics. The same in-DUH-viduals were most likely to blame for the wanton ruination in the canteen and movie theatre.
With the installation of additional plywood over the many shattered windows, photography now became somewhat more unenviable with the tenuous amount of natural light now entering a number of spaces within the buildings on the property. I typically default to a longer exposure in lower light conditions rather than using a flash which more often than not washes out colour and detail.
Anywho, some of the objectives today was the sewage treatment plant, the church / community and the school. As the school is a bit too close for comfort to the guard shack, we settled for the other two.
The Church / Community Centre still had most of it's pews still intact and made for some decent shots. Again, some a$$-Clown tagged the wall in this building expressing an atheistical opinion. Thankfully, the ceramic holy water font by the rear door was still intact.
We were skunked for any interior images at the sewer treatment buildings but did enjoy the scenery in the enlisted personnel married quarters or 'lower town' neighbourhood. Many of the buildings here had seen use by SWAT and other tactical police organisations as witnessed by the numerous targets, simunnition, and blown door locks.
As were we reaching our planned time on location, we started making our way out and decided one more stop and photo-shoot was suitable. To this end, we stopped in to see building #3, a two-storey barracks which was used as the 'Oakwood Residence' by the province. It was at this particular building that cereal83 caught the attention of security while taking a panoramic image of the base on top of the roof.
What followed next was several minutes of high-adrenaline cat-and-mouse with the guard and a rapid retreat off the premises without the embarrassment of being detained / questioned / fined by security or the local constabulary. This may very well be the closest that yours truly had come to being charged an UrbEx admission fee to an abandonment.
As with the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning, there exists an even simpler equation of risk to reward. I am quite certain that I will be returning to the abandoned radar base again in the future to photographically record its decay. The risk of being caught uninvited on the property will always exist but with appropriate mitigation and planning, it can be mitigated or avoided. Remember explorers, always have a safety plan and pack a parachute if things go south of cheese.