Fallout 3 locations project
Springvale Elementary School
Springvale Elementary School (S.E.S.) is a school in northern Springvale. Springvale is a town in Virginia located west of Washington, D.C. The Potomac River is visible from the school. The closest settlement is Megaton.
In the 21st century, this school educated the young children of the rural communities of Virginia. The students were educated in many topics such as grammar, music, and basic computer skills. When not in class, the students played baseball or a variety of activities in the playground.
Springvale Elementary was administered by the school board which was a strong proponent of community-based programs, and promoted family reading nights. The school board met at least once a year. Activities at the school were announced a month in advance.
In the Great War, the school was severely damaged by the bombs. The three upper floors were blasted away, and the side of the school facing the Potomac was completely torn open. Students and teachers seeking shelter in the school were killed instantly. For two centuries, the school stood abandoned.
In 2277, an enterprising gang of raiders established a base camp at the school, where they proceeded to graffiti the school in their "colors". From their camp, the raiders terrorized caravans, captured wastelanders, and even attempted a raid into Megaton, which resulted in no loot and one dead raider (Boppo), the rest fleeing for their lives from Lucas Simms and Stockholm. Realizing they could achieve more gaining access to the nearby vault rather than Megaton, the raiders began an ambitious engineering project.
The engineering project envisioned by the raiders was an underground tunnel into Vault 101. Captured wastelanders, addressed by the gang as 'scabs', were pressed into service as diggers. A while after the project had been started, the raiders thought it would be a good idea to use explosives under the school to quicken the pace of their digging; the blasts caused some minor damage to the school. Later after that, during the construction they encountered unexpected resistance from a hive of hostile giant ants who killed seven of the tunnelers. Faced with a threat that could quickly turn catastrophic, the raiders decided to abandon the project completely, lock the door to the tunnel entrance and place sentries in the school's basement. The other raiders returned to the two other floors. Some raiders took up positions in the exposed interior of the school, scanning for intruders. This is the situation that the Lone Wanderer encounters upon entering the occupied school.
The school faces west. A parking lot and children's playground are in front of the school, while a baseball field is behind the school. A large sign south-west of the school identifies the building. When built, the school was a five-story structure with a basement.
 Top floor
This is the uppermost floor of the school accessible. The floor can be entered from the outside by a door in a northern wall reached by a staircase, and stairways from the ground floor within the school. This floor has a library with a storage room, a corridor converted by the raider leader into his/her sleeping quarters, and a balcony overlooking the foyer. The door to the raider leader's quarters from the library is locked, and can only be opened by either lockpicking the door or using the Springvale library key which can be obtained by killing the raider leader's second in command.
 Ground floor
This is the ground floor of the school. This floor is entered from the outside by the main entrance, and by stairways from the upper floor and the basement. These were the rooms on this floor: a foyer, a kitchen, two classrooms, a gentlemen's restroom, a ladies restroom, and a storage room. In the exposed interior of the school, there is a classroom and a break room.
This is the basement of the school. This floor is entered from the outside by a door in the exposed interior of the school, and stairways from the ground floor. There are two rooms, one of them a store room, within the covered interior of the school. In the exposed interior of the school, there is a locker room and a restroom.
 Mining tunnel
The mining tunnel was the construction project initiated by the raiders in order to get into the vault. It begins in the larger of the two intact rooms of the basement. This room is protected by a very hard lock door. 100 lockpicking skill, or obtaining the basement key by killing the raider leader, can open the door. This tunnel is guarded by giant ants.
In the tunnel, there is a fork. The path to the left leads to a chamber populated by ants, and the path to the right leads to a dead end. Upon entering the chamber, two groups of three worker ants will arrive from separate directions. The tunnel ends abruptly south of the school under the ruins of Springvale, however, the compass reading is misleading due to a computer glitch (see Spatial Orientation Issues).
The school is inhabited by at least 10 raiders and their leader. The leader has a raider guard dog. In a chamber under the school, there is a hive of giant ants. Two of their victims, both wastelanders, lie where they fell.
 Notable loot
 Top floor
- Nuka-Cola Quantum, On top of the cage as you enter school from the main entrance, on the west side of the school: jump down onto the cage from the second floor, or shoot the bottle off of the cage.
- Duck and Cover!, To the left of the raider leader's terminal.
- Jet, Buffout and stimpaks all in a closet accessible from the small library at the top of the stairs (near the Duck and Cover).
 Ground floor
- Sheet music book - In the south-eastern classroom on the ground floor (the room opposite the letters ABCDEFG on the wall). The sheet music book is resting on the "backplate" of a flipped teacher's desk.
- Stimpak, Med-X, Buffout on a table in the bath room in the middle of the ground floor
 Mining tunnel
- Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual - near the rifle in the ant tunnel. Move the wastelanders' bodies if you cannot see it or pick it up.
- Ant nectar inside ant refuse piles.
- Assault rifle and 48 5.56mm rounds by the dead wastelanders.
 Enclave outpost
Walk behind the school and head in a northeast direction. You will come across a derelict building on the water. If you have completed the The Waters of Life quest then there will be an Enclave base set up with at least two soldiers and an officer. Similar to the Outpost near the Nuka-Cola Plant, the Enclave soldiers here appear to be low ranking trainees or recruits, as they lack helmets, are equipped only with laser pistols, and possess extremely poor condition equipment. They can be found doing push-ups under the supervision of the Officer.
The Enclave seems to have been doing research at this location as their terminal reports mainly on mirelurks and radroaches. If you go to the building in the center there is a crater which seems to glow and gives off at least 3 rads per second, there is nothing notable here apart from two RadAway and around 5 bowls of noodles.
If Broken Steel is installed, after Take It Back! is completed the Enclave officer here can be found executing his/her own men. Both the Officer and the Enclave soldiers (if they are somehow saved by the player) remain hostile to the player.
- There is no obvious way to complete the tunnel. Explosives have no effect on the cave-in at the end of the map (accessible via using a barrel to get up on the ledge).
- You cannot enter the ant hive without setscale console commands - the hive is a dead end.
- The Springvale raiders' story can be found in a terminal in one of the hallways of the school library.
- The outdoor raiders respawn indefinitely.
- There are several jail cells in the school, some of them with small, children skeletons in it. How they got in there and died, is unknown.
- If you approach on the side with the door opening into "Springvale Elementary" and continue on and around the broken wall, follow the path that leads downward. As you reach the bottom, look to your right. There should be a poster there with a turtle and a bomb. On the bottom part of the picture, it will show the turtle in its shell with the bomb exploding next to it. This is a reference to the famous short film produced by the U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration named Duck and Cover. The film uses a very similar animated turtle to illustrate the point that in the event of a nuclear attack, you should duck, cover your head, and find shelter. This same "tortoise and bomb" poster can be found in Hannibal Hamlin's "house" on the second floor at the Temple of the Union, and in the burnt out Early Dawn Academy that you pass through on your way to the GNR Building Plaza. It can also be found on the bottom wall facing the entrance in the capitol preservation society, as well as in one of the entry hallways of L.O.B. Enterprises.
- If you are not sneaking while you systematically kill off the raiders on the first floor, or ever go into [Caution] from an unseen raider, it is most likely one on the second floor, directly above you. The raider will repeatedly call you a coward, wonder where you are, etc., until he is killed.
- There is one of the few raiders with "normal" hair in the school. Go inside through the main front entrance, and you'll see a balcony above you. Get up to that exact location by going up the stairs. Once there, go into the room to the east and you'll see a dead raider against the wall. She has normal blonde hair.
The Springvale School only appears in Fallout 3.
- This game is plagued with spatial orientation issues. For instance, on the school's exterior, the main entrance faces west. Yet, when in the building, the main entrance faces south. This is best documented on page 320 of the Fallout 3 Official Game Guide.
- The ground in front of the school is occasionally glitched, so the player can see the bottom, similar to the noclip console command for PC. The school may also have unusual triangular spikes jutting through the walls.
- If you move any of the barrels (or possibly anything) in the foyer they will disappear from sight, but if you jump on and/or move them they re-appear and then disappear again.
- When you enter the school using the door on the destroyed side, you will see a destroyed generator. You may get stuck if you jump into it.
- If you have downloaded Point Lookout and accepted the quest The Dark Heart of Blackhall and help out Marcella to destroy the book at the Dunwich building, sometimes there will be a second objective marker telling you that you have to head to the Springvale school.