The old Kelso High building burned down in August, 2005, but it has been digitally raised from the ashes and it is once again possible to ‘walk’ through its halls and classrooms.
An ex-student who graduated in 1987, Dr. John Rouse, says he sometimes dreams of walking through the Kelso school. After accessing the school archive website, John had conversations with another ex-student, Nick Drengenberg and ex-teacher Hans Stroeve about how great it would be to see a model of the old school realised. The idea took hold and the 3D Virtual Tour project was born. Using building plans tracked down by Nick from NSW Public Works and the many existing photographs in the archive, a detailed reconstruction has been made by a Perth-based company, 3D Walkabout. John was so inspired by all the memories evoked by the school archive and the idea of bringing the school back to life that he provided the funding up-front for the project. That enabled a start to the novel and painstaking work of bringing to life every small detail of the previous school.
Once the news of the project got out to the ‘Friends of Kelso High” Facebook alumni group, a crowd-funding campaign took off to assist John with the cost of the project. The idea was met with an extraordinary level of support, with donations flooding in and eventually not only covering the initial costs, but allowing for some additional detail to be added to the 3D tour.