Secret Campus

The following as a revised version of a journal entry of mine from around 2/28/93 of some explorations around the campus of the college I was attending at the time.  Some editorial comments are inserted rather than resculpting the whole piece to provide context more easily supplied parenthetically.

A funny thing happened last Sunday when Elena [a friend who lived in my dorm] came into my room saying that she had gone up on the roof of one of the buildings on campus where I had classes.  Little did I know that I would be going on jam packed night of fun.

After Elena told me this and I had finished my work, we went for a walk over to the building and went around back to see a ladder/walkway which went all the way up to the roof.  We went up the first part and looked around and continued to go all the way up to the second level.  We walked the entire length of the building and talked about what we could do up there (water balloons, etc.) until we decided to search out more excitement.

We came down off of the roof and were standing behind the building by some trailers talking until the giant air conditioners happened to cut on and scared us.  When we jumped I looked up and saw through one of the windows that a door was opening so I told Elena to run and did so myself.

We went over to the Student Union and walked around for a while and then made our way over to another building, the highest one on campus [which was only three or four stories, admittedly] we thought we might be able to climb.  Elena knew that there was a hatch to the roof in the back stairwell; however, all of the doors were locked.

We went back through the Student Union discussing buildings to climb on next the whole while.  Then I showed her a way to climb across the "catwalk" along the wall above the post office. After we climbed down we were walking back to the dorm when I noticed the elevator which goes up to the theater above the game room.  We went over to it and when I pressed the button the light came on signaling that it was working.  When the door opened I told Elena to hold it and I ran up the stairs to see if it went inside.  Unfortunately it didn't, but we went up in it anyway.

When we came out I started to walk away, but Elena checked to see if the door was opened and, to our surprise, it was.  We went in and walked down a hallway which ran behind the theaters into some offices and meeting rooms.  We didn't hear anybody so we continued along to the theaters and went into the front by the projection booth.

Elena started to go in, but I told her I was going to the bathroom and she went in without me.  After I came out I was beginning to get nervous and left with her still looking for adventure since we had left the scene of the previous crime without getting caught.

As we went around the corner of the music building we went into the loading area and walked around looking instinctively for drains.  I went up to a railing around a place where there was a ladder/walkway down under the building which we were determined to check out after we got a flashlight.  We also came upon several extremely large grates similar to those you might find walking through the streets of downtown New Orleans [or most other downtown areas] only much larger.  They were about ten feet wide and ran along the length of the building and we could see all twelve feet down into them where they went down into a boiler room.

With all of these new finds we had to go back to the dorm for a flashlight.  Elena invited Rob and Joyce [my then-roommate and his then-girlfriend] to come, but the old farts decided to stay on the farm.  Elena and I went back and I climbed down the walkway with her, but it was a dead end since the door that lead into the basement was locked.  We went back up and, after trying without tools, grabbed a metal bar to pry the grate up high enough to fold it over (it was it was hinged at the end where the ladder down was).

We both went down and looked around for a minute at the boiler room pipes and listened to all of the noises.  We noticed a door which lead into the building and, after checking for any sign of alarms, went through to find that it lead to a stairwell which went all the way through the building which we decided not to go in for fear of opening any doors with alarms on the other side.  Rob had told me earlier that he had entered the building one semester and was locked in it with the alarms on.  When he left the building the alarms went off and the police came, but didn't bother with him when they saw what was happening.  However, our situation was different, so we decided to check the building out the next day to see what the security was like in our area.

We left there that night and made our way from there back to the dorm, but were sidetracked when Elena and I noticed that the side gate to the track was left open.  We went in and climbed up the stadium, and, while I rested from my jog, Elena climbed up the light stands.  The view from where I was standing was absolutely beautiful, so I can only imagine what she was seeing.  You can see almost the entire campus from that vantage point; however, curiosity got the best of me and I pointed out to Elena that there were openings under our side of the stadium.

We first went into the one where the ladies room was and looked around, but found nothing other than stalls.  Next, we went around to the other entrance where we expected the men's room to be.  As in the case of the ladies' room, all of the lights were on especially in the front of area.  We didn't actually go into the men's room, but, instead, went into a section to the right where piles of books were lying.  We examined them and found that they were somewhat old yearbooks ranging from some in the sixties to a nearly complete set from the mid-seventies through the eighties.

We went a little further along into a room that housed most of the power equipment.  It continued into the next room where I noticed a panel on the wall which had digital readout indicating the time and the day and some other information which I didn't have time to take in.  After that we left that section and, since we couldn't get into the section on the left with the door being locked, we went on to the end of the stadium.

As we rounded the stadium we saw that there was a door which appeared to be jammed although it have any visible lock.   Elena and I started to leave, but I stopped and went back and lifted it from the bottom as I pushed.  Its foundation was the only thing apparently holding it so it opened right away.  We went in and discovered that we were in the cheerleaders locker room as all of the remaining, tattered costumes and (of course) lockers suggested.  There were batons and even an unlit torch lying around which Elena (ever the pyromaniac [For example, she had previously gotten in trouble lighting firecrackers and throwing them out her window to explode just outside of her downstairs neighbors' rooms]) took after she tried to pry open some of the lockers with the batons.

After we finished exploring (we were certainly well above average in terms of finds for one night) we went home and went to bed (not together, of course) planning on checking out several other things in the next few days.

The next day we went and checked out the inside of the music building separately (I even played piano for a while).  That same night, around nine o'clock, we went over to [the first building] and went up the stairwell to the roof hatch, but it was locked with a padlock.  Out of desperation we went over to the library and inquired about getting blueprints for buildings on campus, but were told to check back later.

On our way back to the dorm we went through the music building in nearly every hallway that we could find, but the stairway we were looking for was nowhere to be seen.  We went back that night accomplishing nothing although we did play the piano together for a minute or two.

The day after that, since our English lab [it was a lecture series that accompanied the regular class] was canceled, we went to the library and inquired again about blueprints of the buildings on campus (and maybe maybe the sewer/drainage system, too).  We were told several places including City Hall, the Clerk of Court, and a couple of maintenance centers.  We finally ended up at the Chamber of Commerce where got a free map of the city of Hammond, which, although potentially helpful, was not exactly what we were looking for.  After this we went to the Water Department where we received a phone number, but left the trail out of sheer exhaustion and went home to unload the groceries we got before all of the work.

Copyright 1993-2007 Alexplorer.
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