UNSEEN PARTS OF SRHS.Taking a step down the old dusty stairs is the entrance to the basement under the Main Building. SRHS history teacher and past activity director, Arthur Horner, said, “It used to be where all the school records are kept, but it flooded a lot so the records are kept [somewhere else now].” Horner also talked about how he believed the tunnels under SRHS are connected to the basement.
Article and photos by Kai Sterck
As we all know, Santa Rosa High School is one of the oldest high schools in the state. It has been here since 1874. Due to this, SRHS has many stories which include some that are spooky and generally unknown.
One of our staff members, a history teacher and the past Activity Director, Arthur Horner, has some great stories to tell since he has been here at this school for many years. Not many students know that there is a basement located under Main Building. There are a few other “secret rooms” and even some tunnels. According to Horner, there are a lot of rumors about the window that’s boxed up which is connected to the custodians’ closet, “there’s a door in the custodians room… [and] there’s a lot of rumors about it.”
Since Horner was activity director, he’s spent many weekends at the school all alone when no one else was around… or so he thought. “I was here in the summer once and was working in the room all by myself, there [was] nobody around at all.. And [the custodians’ closet] door popped open.. somebody in [what looked] like a big suit came out, and the suit was white [similar to that of] a space suit,” said Horner. This would most likely spook someone out to be all alone and then to all of a sudden have company. That was the only experience Horner has had near the tunnels.
It used to be a dungeon where goblins kidnapped students as well as staff and ate them, so he was rarely around them. Alright. Alright. Maybe not all of those are true stories. But, all jokes aside, SRHS used to share a heating system with Santa Rosa Junior College, so all the pipes are still in the tunnels and every once in a while, the pipes need to be worked on. “I’ve never been in there because it has asbestos (a material that can lead to chronic illness or cancers), so we’re not allowed in there; it’s a hazardous place to be,” said Horner. Due to the asbestos, the lock on the door to the tunnels isn’t accessible even with the school’s master key. The only key that will open the door is in the possession of the city district.
While the tunnels are creepy, it’s time to hear more about the basement under the Main Building… and what’s inside. Somewhere in the Main Building there is a door that leads to a long dusty staircase. As you continue to go down them you’ll eventually come across an old rusty safe door that’s similar to the tunnels, and the school doesn’t have a key or combination that will unlock the safe. However, the tunnels, there is no way to unlock it, not even with help from the district, therefore, the door is always open.
SRHS has many unknown features hidden away behind sealed walls or under the buildings. As time passes, the stories shouldn’t be lost and forgotten. The Halloween season sets the perfect scene to explore the hidden parts of SRHS.