Before the Great War, Springvale Elementary saw to the education of the local children. A family reading night was to be held on November 16, 2077. The school was overseen by a school board, which was to hold a board meeting on November 21, 2077. Students and teachers alike were to be due for an early dismissal on November 22, 2077.
At some point during or after the Great War, the building took severe structural damage, with the three upper floors being completely destroyed, and the side of the building facing the Potomac River being torn open. At an unknown date, a bloodthirsty band of raiders under the leadership of Boppo occupied the building, which they used as a base of operations to raid caravans and traders on their way to the nearby settlement of Megaton. Boppo later attempted to raid Megaton, which failed and ultimately resulted in Sheriff Simms wounding him mortally.
The remaining raiders under an unnamed leader decided to target the nearby Vault 101 instead. They began an ambitious tunnel dig in the school's basement in order to gain access to the Vault. Individuals called "scabs" were responsible for digging the tunnel, and started using mines to progress farther into the caves. The raiders then decided to raid more caravans to restock on explosives, while also limiting the use of them as to not draw unwanted attention.
In one large cavern, they encountered unexpected resistance from a hive of hostile giant ants, who killed seven of the diggers. Faced by this immediate threat, the raiders decided to lock the door to the tunnel entrance, and place guards in the lower levels of the 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 southwest of the school identifies the building.
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 their 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.
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 storeroom, within the covered interior of the school. In the exposed interior of the school, there is a locker room and a restroom.
The mining tunnel was the raider's attempt 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 locked 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, with two dead wastelanders near some egg clutches. The tunnel ends abruptly south of the school under the ruins of Springvale.
To the northeast of the school are the lakeside ruins,[Non-canon 2] a derelict building with a small pier next to the Potomac River. After the completion of The Waters of Life, there will be an Enclave base set up here, with at least two soldiers and an officer. They are equipped with laser pistols, and possess extremely poor condition equipment. They can be found doing push-ups under the supervision of the officer.
The Enclave is conducting research at this location as their terminal reports mainly on mirelurks and radroaches. Mirelurks and a mirelurk king can be found in the lake nearby and may attack the player character. The building in the center has a crater that glows and gives off up to 3 rads per second.
- Nuka-Cola Quantum - on the top floor, above the cage as one enters the school from the main entrance, on the west side of the school. Access by jumping down onto the cage from the second floor, or shooting the bottle off of the cage.
- Duck and Cover! - to the left of the raider leader's terminal on the top floor. This particular copy is one of three oversized copies of the skill book.
- Sheet music book - in the southeastern 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.
- Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual - Springvale lower level (after obtaining raider's key). Near the assault rifle in the ant tunnel, underneath a dead wastelander.
- There are several jail cells in the school, some of them with small, children skeletons in it.
- It is possible to overhear various conversations between two raiders on the first floor. Some of them are just altercations where one raider does not like the way the other is looking at them. One of the conversations is about inexperienced raiders going up north and running into "monsters," then coming back screaming about "claws of death," referring to deathclaws they encountered.
- Despite the school's exterior main entrance facing west on the outside, it faces south while inside the building. This is best documented on page 320 of the Fallout 3 Official Game Guide. A similar issue is known to happen in certain Metros.
- Behind the school, there is a fenced-in electrical tower. Under the tower, there are several radioactive waste barrels where there are a first aid kit and a hunting rifle. The player can get to them by lockpicking through the Easy level locked gate.
The Springvale school appears only in Fallout 3.
- 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. [verified]
- 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. [verified]
- Picking up the Nuka-Cola on the pier at the lakeside ruins, northeast of the school, may cause the game to crash shortly thereafter. [verified]
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition, p. 356: "5.14: SPRINGVALE SCHOOL (LAT -01/LONG -01)
Northeast of Vault 101 [8.01] and on the northern outskirts of Springvale township [8.02] is Springvale Elementary School, which is now the residence of a band of bloodthirsty Raiders. There's an entrance on the western side, near the ruined bus stop. On the eastern perimeter is a power tower with a locked gate and a First Aid Box inside. Head around to the north, and there's a motorbike, a large rubble wall, and a huge gaping hole revealing that half of the school has fallen in and Raiders roam inside. The lower area has double metal doors leading to the lower-level interior. On the south wall above you is a door to the interior, too."
(Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition, p. 358: "5.BB LAKESIDE RUINS (LAT 01/LONG 00)
Springvale's Lakeside Ruins sustained a direct hit to their office building. Watch for nearby Mirelurks. There's a Grenade Ammo Box to scavenge under the rocky banks just south of Springvale School. The Enclave also set up camp here [5.06]."
(Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)