By Sammi Bellinghausen and Isabella DeMattei
From the outside, Santa Rosa High School is just another old brick building. Some don’t realize, however, SRHS is far more than meets the eye. Theo school has many different hidden locations that very few know about. This is because the hidden locations are too dangerous or inaccessible to students. Some of the locations are retired classrooms, old hallways, and storage rooms. We had the privilege of going on a tour of some of these secret hideaways lead by the former principal of Santa Rosa High School, Tony Negri.
The first area we went to was the basement under the south side of the Main Building. We descended down metal stairs that lead us to the boiler room and vault. The vault used to hold school records until one winter when the boiler room flooded.After the wonderful staff of Santa Rosa High School got all the records out, they were send to be professionally dried and cleaned up. To this day, almost every record was salvaged and is located on the first floor of main building, in a locked room labeled “records.”
Photo by Sammi Bellingausen
More interestingly, however, the boiler room was also used as a bomb shelter during World War II and the Cold War. Now, this area is used to store the heating and cooling systems.
The second place we visited was the basement hallways, where Student Government is located. In these hallways there are multiple abandoned classrooms, which are now used for storage purposes. Additionally, there is a room used for staff meetings and an office for the custodial team.
Next, we visited a storage room below main building. In this room there were many supplies for dances, school affiliated parties, and other events which are held here. There was one creepy object that stood out to us: a cage. Although this might not sound too terribly creepy, it was. There is a big cage where more valuable items are stored and held for safekeeping. This area is rumored to be a dungeon. A doll was hung from the top of the cage and dangled on the inside.
Also in this area is the crawl space under the main building. According to Negri, there are many feral cats that live under the building and eat the decomposing rats.
We saw a lot of spots that the average student does to get to see on the regular. Mr. Negri was very disappointed that students often never seen any of these locations, especially the museum. Mr. Negri hopes to change that so everyone can experience what we have today.