Thread Number: 72035  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
The Secret Rooms at School (& maybe other places) I want to discuss!
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Post# 952699   8/13/2017 at 00:44 (741 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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In Particular, the elementary school that I'd attended Pre-K Nursry School-to-Second Grade, to returning there for Forth Grade after attending another school for Third (of which something startling occurred that you'll soon, here, read about) before going to another school for Fifth, then followed by Middle School/ Jr. High, Senior High, of which this sort of thing somehow diminished:

The boiler room that there were large panes of glass that provided endless viewing inside at recess... It also housed an incinerator that I loved watching the janitor throwing the garbage burning up into... There was a pipe with a shower head hanging on the outside wall probably with that incinerator behind it that vibrated & sounded like a jackhammer continuously there, too...

In the hallway, on one side of the back of the gymnasium, a door marked Fan Room, that I'd seen opened once or twice, and caught a to this day memorable glimpse of the big machinery and a catwalk that a short set of stairs led up to the left of all that along side of, while at the front I think was a rotating belt or something of sort that I don't remember exact description of entirely (there would have to be a guard of some sort around it, too) that greets you as you enter on that elevated surface there...

There was also a nondescript pink door that had a louvered vent on the wall right outside of it view-able from an outside window next to that door, located in the hallway behind the library that I'd seen opened then quickly closed only once (yes, all these doors have door-closers and did I tell you that they all were LOCKED?!) and remember the series of florescent lights, similar to the ones in the classrooms however many rows are required in that space, that I saw quickly turned off & the after-glow of those tubes, giving out a faint green, all in that dark...

There were also Storage Rooms, Storage Rooms, and MORE Storage Rooms (all labeled Storage Room--well, maybe Store Room) housing everything from Paper & Misc. Classroom supplies to crates of Towne Club pop--my former Kindergarten teacher with a bottle of Pineapple that she & the janitor drew out of there for her, holding his two-fistfuls of BEST (Unlawful to Duplicate) keys, he'd let themselves briefly in for...

Also janitor closets here and there to clean/service the classrooms, and in a few classrooms, a trap door, opened at least once & ever so cautious not to fall into--hopefully with a ladder down there to get someone quickly out--that usually had a heavy hunk o' furniture like a desk, cabinet or shelving unit directly over, letting a view of various opening-portions of exposed, but not without moving that stuff on it, easily opened...

The janitor's office itself--and the teacher's lounge (I went into to use the pop machine for a teach) also sources of curiosity...

Lastly the unused wing of the school I saw a couple maintenance gents one with the key to the padlock on the boards ready to unlock & open the door fashioned for "only THEIR" access (they may have been the freelance administration, when as needed, routinely going to each building in our school district, but headquartered, who knows where? when not making their rounds) to a preschool teacher actually having a key to that area and letting a couple of her four-to-five-year-olds accompany her to "enjoying that SACRED privilege"--that my disturbing view of (Oh, that JEALOUSY!) caused me a very bad day in class that my teacher in "psychiatrist's couch" fashion of led me RIGHT OVER TO THAT BOARDED UP AREA IN THAT WING to have a talk with me over what was eating me!

At least my daughter's school put pictures of (actual photographs) one photo each that gives a very detailed shot of everything in the rooms at HER school; can't derail anybody's educational process there as it somewhat seemed to, mine, now, can we?!

Side note: The Kelvinator cooler used for milk, of which the nameplate I sneaked into the middle school cafeteria when it was empty & smuggled in my screwdriver & needle-nose pliers to pry that all metal 'Product of American Motors' label off of, & put all in my pocket to transfer to my school bag, then make my first of three fake air conditioners out of (another came from a compact refrigerator and still another from a real air conditioner that I think were from walks through an alley behind the neighborhood stores)... Oh, and the elementary schools had Norcolds that the top & front of flipped open for that purpose as well...

-- Dave

Post# 952702 , Reply# 1   8/13/2017 at 04:37 (741 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My elementary school (K-8) was built in the '20s (my grandmother remembered it being there) with tall 12 foot ceilings and hardwood floors.  I had to go down the basement to summon the janitor once for a kid who had upchucked on the classroom floor.  He was kicked back in an old recliner reading a book smoking his pipe all cozy right beside the boiler.  I remember seeing the fire through the air intakes.  This was around first grade.  At some point I know they replaced that old boiler because I could see where the concrete blocks had been removed and replaced in order to get that behemoth out and a new one in.  At the end of my seventh or eighth grade year we had to go to that same basement to move some boxes of old books out...they were stored in what was once the coal bin because there was still some small pieces of coal left on the floor. 


The old gym in that same school had two staircases going down on either side of the stage to bathrooms that were used as dressing rooms at some point.  During ballgames those bathrooms were used.  But there was this other door in there that was blocked off.  In 1985 a brand new school was built closer to the high school....and we had to go down into those old bathrooms and behind those blocked off rooms....turns out they were old shower rooms!  I can still smell that old musty smell. 


That same old schoolhouse had an upstairs too.  From the outside it had two shed dormers with about 4 windows each, maybe more.  I'd have to look at my old pictures to see for sure.  I always tried to find the way up there but never saw any stairs or such.  The roof was so steep I'm sure there was quite a bit of room up there.


The high school had these two metal louvered doors going into the basement under the cafeteria where I'm sure the boilers were located.  I always wanted to see in that room but never got the chance.

Post# 952707 , Reply# 2   8/13/2017 at 06:25 (741 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The boiler room I remember was in the new Stevens High School in Rapid City,South Dakota.In the hall where the room was-there was the giant glass windows where you could see the boilers and other mechanical equipment-including the incinerator.Since I was in shop class-was able to use the incinerator-the building engineer-boiler guy-showed me how to use it.Dumping large amounts of sawdust and paper waste-the shop was responsible for the decorations for proms and other events.When the event was over--the giant piles of the waste went into the incinerator.With either the sawdust or paper you had to look in the burn chamber window-if a flame was apparent you had to wait until it burnt down before dumping the waste in-otherwise it could flare into your face.And the boiler room was for at the time if guys got into a fight-the boiler room was where it would be finished off.The fan-blower ,pump rooms in schools were sort of like what we have at work.And of course each transmitter has its own blower room.I can go into the ones at work freely-but CAREFUL while the fan is running-it can suck you against the guard grate almost like the intake of a jet engine!15,20 hp blowers here.

Post# 952724 , Reply# 3   8/13/2017 at 09:47 (741 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
"Needed to talk w/ HER over what was eaten' me"-

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Oh, I'm bad with TOOLS! It was a small BOLT CUTTER that I used on the bolts that secured the Kelvy label on the cooler...

Thought a discarded General Electric Americana Side X Side fridge at the hospital I worked at years later (it was from an outbuilding used by it, in a lounge) needed the removal of its GENERAL ELECTRIC nameplate in that brutal manner, but I think the brittle plastic over the thin metal beneath it that I'd cracked & crumbled only needed a gentle movement w/ the screwdriver... Well, I saved the Temperature control w/ the thumbwheel & knob for the fridge & freezer portions, respectively...

The janitor's office at that one school had black iron bars like a jail (maybe i=for bad students it once WAS) over a dug out where some equipment was stored & I am trying to picture where there I saw the BILLY GOAT lawn sweeper... That was either there or the little I'd seen of those areas of the two elementary schools I'd gone to for 3rd and 5th; and the one I'd gone to a nursery school at before that particular one, in which the less I'd been exposed to at that tender age the better...

Well, BILLY GOAT followed me to Middle School: working for the school library I took a broken TV on a raised cart w/ casters (and another broken one I think on a shelf below it on the same cart) to the janitor's office--two wooden double doors w/ windows and a doorknob that DIDN'T work when I turned it, without a humongous effort--and across the small hallway was where the janitor & assistant led me to, to dispose the non-working audio-visual equipment, behind another set of wooden (maybe metal) double doors, without windows, that the GOAT was in, as well as the familiar sight of bags of SWEEPING COMPOUND that I had seen numerous times at the many schools... --Plus loads of other mostly floor scabbing/maintenance equipment...

Well, there was at the school I'd attended 5th grade a small pantry behind the kitchen area--besides a Frigidaire single-door fridge in there, (and I think something right in that kitchen for refrigeration more nearby) (circa. 1959, seen in an ad of mostly Frigidaire built-in ranges & ovens) wonder what was there... There was a set of wooden doors opened ajar housing discarded a Frigidaire range, a 30" version that the kitchen had a working model of, that was a 40" at that other school I'd chronicled, w/ another single door Frigidaire...

Getting back to BOILERS, the Kawalek was a very common piece of equipment seen in that school I'd attended in grade-5 & the Blues Brothers movie even had one (where Cab Calloway resided at the orphanage that that last elementary school was very much like & for that reason it was cool to go there) & surely the elementary school before that (& possibly the one I'd gone to in 3rd grade, that I have not as fond memories of or more than vague & vivid in that subject matter) might have also employed--didn't see much there...

-- Dave

Post# 952752 , Reply# 4   8/13/2017 at 13:42 (741 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I remember the junior high building. Most of it was newer but two of the classroom buildings and the gym were older from the 40s.

The classroom buildings were brick with flat roofs and were rows of classrooms with the covered walkway outside. Each room had rows of windows on the exterior with old steam radiators underneath. I remember I had one class in that building and once I got brave and opened the door between it and the room next door. It looked like it had been a science lab that hadn't been used in years. I reached for the light switch and instead must have turned on an exhaust fan which made a horrible grinding sound, which startled me so I switched it right back off and closed the door.

In the newer part of the school - I can remember once seeing inside a storage room in the auditorium which was usually never gone in but we put soda bottles in there for the end of school dance.

The gym was an interesting old building as well and had a basement (in Florida) where the locker rooms and a classroom were. There was also a loft in the gym with a balcony that overlooked the court, that area was always blocked off and looked like there was a storage room up there. Above it was a big fan that ventilated the gym and drew air in through the propped open windows that were painted over at some point.

The high school, never saw many secret rooms there, although once I saw a set of double doors that was always closed (didn't even have handles or knobs on them) open and saw a Kenmore washer/dryer set in there.

A couple of times I got a chance to go into the school kitchen which was a treat. I always wanted to see in the rooms that were marked "dry storage" but never did, and always wondered what cooking equipment was on the other side of that half wall under the exhaust hood. I did get to see back there once but I was rather nervous as I was supposed to be looking for the manager and not wandering around the kitchen. There was another room off the back that I could just see with a washer and dryer as well, but never got to go in there either.

More recently I got to go into the kitchen at a junior high, not mine, but one just like it. The manager took me in the storage rooms and walk in cooler as well, a very interesting experience to see behind the scenes.

Post# 952757 , Reply# 5   8/13/2017 at 14:00 (741 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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None of the schools I attended were old enough to have interesting secret rooms. (Oldest school was built probably 1950-something, and the other two were built in the 60s.) There were areas where students weren't allowed, of course, like the boiler room of my elementary school...but the room wasn't any big secret. And one could see a good chunk of it through the door, which was usually open.


The closest thing I know of to any sort of mysterious secret was at my junior high. There was a basement area in one building that was used for storage when I was there. Years later, though, apparently there was a rumor floating about the school that that area held a swimming pool that was closed down at some point. I'm pretty sure that was just urban legend--the high schools (one of which was probably build right about the time that jr. high building was built) didn't have pools, and high schools are generally the schools that will get a pool first.

Post# 952758 , Reply# 6   8/13/2017 at 14:03 (741 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I wonder, though, if the high school my mother attended didn't have mysterious spaces... It was old (early 20th century), and I think saw lots of changes over the years... I remember seeing that school the last time in the 1990s. I don't remember any secret rooms. But the mention of an old shower room earlier in this thread reminded me of a small dressing/shower room that I saw in that school. It was mostly unused, I gathered--at some point, a new gym (with new locker rooms) had been built.

Post# 952765 , Reply# 7   8/13/2017 at 14:25 (741 days old) by kd12 (Arkansas)        
Scary Fan

About the only thing remotely mysterious about my high school (built in 1931) was an old dirt floored indoor running track under the auditorium no one had used in decades. We didn't even have a boiler room as we got our steam from the Jr High's boiler room next door (built in 1923). BUT, the scariest basement I ever saw was in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood. There was a huge fan intake outside the barracks building below ground level, and I didn't think much about it, until I saw inside the basement. There was a squirrel cage fan down there big enough to drive a VW thru the center of it. I didn't know you could build a squirrel cage blower that big. And, no shroud or screen of any kind. You definitely didn't want to be down there when it kicked on. I wish I had thought to get a picture of it now.

Post# 952779 , Reply# 8   8/13/2017 at 17:23 (741 days old) by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
Central Vacuums in Old Schools?

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My dad told me LONG ago that the school he attended in Rochester NY had a central vacuum and the chalkboard erasers were cleaned by holding them to the inlet on the wall. This would have been in the 1930's and 1940's. Anyone ever heard of (or seen) an OLD school with a central vacuum system?

When I was in elementary school (1960's), our school had an eraser cleaning machine located backstage in the auditorium. I often volunteered to clean the erasers. The machine was switched on and the erasers held up to the "nozzle" which had a rotating brush. Chalk dust was dislodged from the eraser and sucked up the nozzle into a small bag not unlike one on an upright bagged vacuum.


Post# 952799 , Reply# 9   8/13/2017 at 20:36 (741 days old) by ptcruiser51 (Boynton Beach, FL)        
Not to be critical, but....

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When did you find time for "EDUCATION"? The nuns at my school would have you being punished if you wee found in anyplace clandestine! I had to stay after school once because I was caught walking back to class after Sister asked me to get a fresh box of chalk for the blackboard...

Post# 952808 , Reply# 10   8/13/2017 at 22:41 (740 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

The high school I went to wasn't a single building; it was a small campus of several buildings. The main classroom building had been built in stages between about 1920 and 1930, and both the floor plan and the systems had been revised numerous times since then. It was bit like the Winchester mansion, with a bunch of dead-end hallways, doors that opened to blank walls, stairways to nowhere, etc. Rumor had it that there was at least one room that was completely inaccessible because all of the doors to it had been walled off. The lights for some rooms were controlled by switches in other rooms, and the plumbing was a complete mystery. One room on the ground floor was festooned with pipes and valves that seemed to be part of the fire sprinkler system, which everyone was afraid to touch because no one knew if any of it worked or not; it was never tested. One day, someone got daring and turned a valve. A water gong somewhere started ringing, and water cascaded down the outside wall from the roof.

They built a new classroom building in 1977. Over the summer, they had to move out of the old one, and a certain amount of exploration and archaeology was done at that time. Someone hacked through a wall at the top of one of the stairways to nowhere, and found an opening to an abandoned office. It had a door that opened into the library, behind some shelves. As it turned out, this access was shorter than the main access to the library, and they wound up using it to move all of the books to the new building.

I can't begin to describe how scroungy and patched together the wiring was. To this day, I'm stunned that that building never burned down.

Post# 952815 , Reply# 11   8/14/2017 at 00:09 (740 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The first elementary school I went to was built in the 1930s, had three stories plus basement. I never thought it was too mysterious but it was a big building and formerly the towns high school so it was set up more like one. I never got to see the boiler room or even knew where it was but there were a number of classrooms in the basement that were used for storage. Part of the building was a wing added on in the 1950s and had a central heating/cooling plant with a pneumatic control system I was always fascinated by. I imagine the original building had radiators but they were long gone and replaced by some kind of PTAC type units in each classroom like most schools in my area have.

The other place I found fascinating had a basement stairwell right off the main entrance that was wide open, but "forbidden". My mom was a room mom there and had to go down there for something (I of course went with) and I discovered there were some air handlers and some pretty large ductwork down there, very odd to me as all the diffusers in that place were in the ceiling. The room was small, obviously not the entire size of the school so I looked around for doorways hoping there would be more to the basement and saw a doorway in a dark corner and was curious to check it out but alas was afraid to for whatever reason. To this very day I still wonder if it was just some random doorway to nowhere or if it led to a whole secret basement in the school with a treasure trove of pipes and ductwork leading up to air handlers and a huge boiler.
I will never know because that school, built in 1952 was torn down the next year to make way for a new school.

Post# 952822 , Reply# 12   8/14/2017 at 00:44 (740 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

There is a HUGE Sqirrel cage blower in the attic of the Wash DC VOA site-the thing was used to ventilate the buildings cafeteria.It had a two speed Crocker Wheel induction motor-just remember the HP-10Hp low-25 Hp high.The inlets were connected to air ducts-the outlet discharged through the building roof.One time it started-sounded like an airplane taking off!There are blowers in the transmitter buiding one about 8 foot high-vent fan for the cEMCO transmitters-its driven by a 5Hp motor.Another fan for the building HVAC is run from a 15Hp motor.The GE transmitter blowrs are about 6 ft tall intake about 3 ft.this runs from 15Hp.Another airplane motor sound when started.This is the one that can suck you against the air intake if you are not careful when enterting the blower room.Each transmitter has its blower room.The suction of the blower running in any of them makes opening the door difficult-and hold the door TIGHT while closing-make sure your hands or feet aren't in the way-the door will try to slam shut from the suction of the blower!

Post# 952831 , Reply# 13   8/14/2017 at 02:57 (740 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Oh, the typos in my one or both initial posts... Kawalek was at the elementary school I'd attended (& at this point overstated) for the grades except for 3rd & 5th, 3rd I might not have been exposed to the clandestine areas of, or that's where the teaching I'd gotten for what I'd gone to school for actually worked! (Just for 5th, etc. to be where I'd made myself more clear)

Middle school had the gymnasium & I had myself written out of Phys. Ed. for my 8th grade on... The pool, then, was high school, that also other than swimming lessons between 1st & 2nd & maybe an evening aquatics show, I had attended, (maybe a neighbor going there awam in) had not been to/in--but surely a source of enjoyment for the operations... There was a vintage high schoool yearbook, from a former neighbor, my mom somehow got from that made its way to our basement in the house I grew up... A photo showing a washer w/ a laundress (w/ quite the "goony" look o hr face) was featured; and such a thing since there were showers & towels and a gym was probably also featured at the middle school, too...

And moreover of that the city pool at the park where I'd gone to years earlier for summer camp found me peeking, gawking & endlessly staring into--asking: "What are they doing in there?" "They're doing YOU!" said one of my fellow campers, while a counselor in the probably futile manner to get me better adjusted stated "It's to CLEAN the pool!" right down to me drawing a picture of that room in arts & crafts reversing the trade name on a huge paper sack I saw a man tear open & load into a chamber labeled Sun Democates Earth--me bearing my own Earth Democates Sun (& the rays around the name--even thinking "it's that SUN stuff" used to de-mark a playing field for sports--boy was I obsessed!)

Well, an overnight camp had a '70's Hotpoint dryer tucked away in the alcove behind the nature center in some closet, quite a distance away from what seemed to be a dark blue or some other dark colored washer in a room behind the mess hall, I don't know the name of--'cause IT WAS FORBIDDEN TO GO IN THAT ROOM!

Last of all, the high school custodian's office--with a wooden sign over the door, stating in addition to 'the warning not to enter', THIS MEANS YOU! --w/ the exclamation mark & all...

-- Dave

Post# 952917 , Reply# 14   8/14/2017 at 18:14 (740 days old) by DaveTranter (Central England)        
Secret rooms etc. at my old school

Where to start??
The school was built on a 'double quadrangle' (figure 8) pattern in the 1920s. The hall and admin area formed the middle bar of the '8' while the classrooms and workshops were arranged on two floors around the 'quads', the corridors being covered from (most) rain, but open at the side to the elements, so driving rain and/or snow tended to get you wet as you stood shivering outside the classrooms in January. Stepping onto the grass in the 'quads' was strictly forbidden to all students.
Ok, that's the background, now for the 'off limits' places......
The boiler room (under part of the North Quadrangle and the stage end of the hall) was positively labyrinthine, I only entered it once, when an upperclassman, taking some old chairs down there, presumably to be broken up and burnt in the boiler furnace. There was a room under the stage in the hall which, when I was at the school, no-one could remember seeing opened. There was (and still is!) a fine pipe organ in the choir loft at the other end of the hall, a space which was only ever accessed for the organ: by the time I got to the school the choir sat with everyone else. I doubt that anyone goes up there now... When I attended the school, several of the masters were competent Organists, one or two students, too. I would not imagine that anyone there could play now. :-(

There were various storerooms behind some of the classrooms, workshops, and laboratories, all of which were 'off limits', but probably the most fascinating spaces were the lofts, the entrances to which were situated above the stairwells but were so inaccessible without a ladder that they didn't even have doors fitted! They were just mysterious black rectangles high above the stairs. The main roof had an open cupola in the middle which must have given quite a good view over the surrounding suburbia, and there was a persistent legend in the school that someone had once managed to get up there and fasten a school tie to one of the supporting columns, but no-one knew exactly who or when.

Hope some of that may be of interest to some of you!

All best

Dave T

Post# 952922 , Reply# 15   8/14/2017 at 19:00 (740 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

The school I attended from K - 3 was built in 1952. No secret rooms, but I do remember that right inside the storage room (for paper, crayons, etc.) there was another door on one side. This led to stairs that went down to the basement. I remember the basement having rows of round concrete columns that flared out at the top. One section had big fans and the boiler. Another area was for storage of old desks, chairs, tables and such. I also remember seeing in one room there were several large electrical panels. This basement was where we went for the air-raid drills, which was in the early 60's, or for a bad storm. Most of this building was torn down for the new school in 2002. I'm not sure about the basement, but I don't remember any large hole when demolition was in progress, so they may have built over it.

For grades 4 -6, I was in an old building. One section was built in 1882, but the major portion was from 1906. All restrooms were in the basement of the 1906 part, and not an enjoyable visit. An odd thing about them was that the restroom floors were about 3' higher than the rest of the basement level. This was due to the sewer line in the street being higher than the basement floor. The restrooms were very scary looking, with all sorts of pipes running every which way. Down the hall was a couple classrooms - one for band, the other special-ed. The rest was storage or unused. That building was demolished at the end of 6th grade.

The Jr. High and High school was built in '66, and all on one floor. There was a storage room between the cafeterias of each, that could be used as a passageway for special events. Also several connecting rooms associated with the office that accessed the side hall and typing room. A new HS was built in 2002, and the old one is now grades 6 -9.

Post# 953009 , Reply# 16   8/15/2017 at 12:11 (739 days old) by kd12 (Arkansas)        
Airplane Sound

Rex, I remember that sound when the blower started up. As I remember, the sign on the wall over the starter button said to push and hold for 20 seconds so it would get enough current going to get up to full speed.

Post# 953015 , Reply# 17   8/15/2017 at 13:50 (739 days old) by DaveTranter (Central England)        
Central Vac

Oops!! Forgot to mention for the Vacuum fans..... There was a BVC central vac in the school, the 'business end' of which was also in that labyrinthine boiler room/basement, presumably original equipment from the 1920s. I can also supply a basic spec for the Organ, if anyone is interested.

All best

Dave T

Post# 953021 , Reply# 18   8/15/2017 at 14:21 (739 days old) by rpms (ontario canada)        

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My public grade school did not have many secret rooms.
There was a small room off the stage that held spots equipment and the doors opened under the stage and long racks were pulled out full of stacking chairs.
The only room of interest was the tiny janitor's room opposite the boy's bathroom.
Dennis,was the janitor and a very good one. The school was spotless.
If you left your inside shoes on the floor and not put them on the seat of your desk they would go missing.
Dennis,had a pet peeve about moving shoes when he swept.
He would take your shoes and toss them into a wringer washer in the janitor's room.
If your shoes were missing in the morning you had to go see Dennis.
I remember it being kinda frightening. It was a creepy, dark room with no windows and it smelled weird. You had to line up and then reach into the washer to get your shoes.
About once a month Dennis would fire up the wringer to wash mats and the mop heads.
It was always exciting to be on a bathroom break, alone and hear the washer groaning and churning as you got close to the bathroom.
Dennis hung his laundry out on the side of the school and we were not allowed to go on that side during recess.

Post# 953051 , Reply# 19   8/16/2017 at 02:45 (738 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Dave-I would be interested in the specs of the organ.
KD12-we don't have to hold switches down to start blowers-pumps herethey are started by contactors.

Post# 953119 , Reply# 20   8/16/2017 at 16:35 (738 days old) by man114 (Buffalo)        

The Elementary school in our town was built in 1939 (it was formerly a high school and middle school), it has two main floors however there is a 3rd floor, it's not sectioned off you can walk right up the main staircase to get to it. The thing is no one ever goes up there. It's just janitorial storage but it always seems strange that you never see anyone gomup there. The other thing that I don't think anyone has seen the fallout shelter in ages.

Post# 953134 , Reply# 21   8/16/2017 at 18:03 (738 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
In a department store

Pogue's was one of Cincinnati's classiest stores, founded in the 1860's and closing over a century later in 1987. The downtown store was located in at least six separate buildings; three or four of these dated from the mid-late 1800's, one (the largest) from 1916, and two from 1930 (one that is part of the Carew Tower, the other a service building connecting the 1916 area to it).

In the Spring of 1988, a liquidation sale was held to clear out the store fixtures, and in the areas due for demolition, parts of the building such as doors, light fixture, elevators, etc. I was going to school downtown at that time, so would run over there fairly often. Sale customers could go anywhere in the complex, from the sub-basements to the top floors - the highest being the 9th.

What I most remember was how different that areas not on the public selling floor were from what the store customers saw. Since the buildings had windows, there were false walls about 4' out from the exterior walls, creating a passageway that in many cases joined the stockrooms. There were cracked windows, peeling paint, missing plaster and wires hanging down in there. There were old steam radiators in there in some areas. Some of the stockrooms had old glass schoolhouse lights that hung on chains.

I went up one stairwell, and through a door into a hallway. I opened a door leading into a room that had been an office - part of the tile ceiling had sagged down so far in one area that it was being held up by a couple desks. There were typewriters on the desks; some with paper in them. One had an unfinished letter dated 1964! Pen & pencils and other office supplies in drawers. The place just abandoned that day in 1964 for some reason - like the world had come to an end.

Another day I went up to the 9th floor of the 1930 service building, and into an area that had been the electrical maintenance dept. Just like the office mentioned above, it too had been abandoned abruptly in 1962. All sorts of electrical items on shelves, some of them much older than the 60's. I bought a lot that day, including old trade magazines, and a 1939 Westinghouse catalog. For unknown reasons, that department had been relocated to the basement.

I also visited the basement, sub-basement, and in one part the sub-sub-basement. These were storage, display workrooms, and maintenance depts. A couple areas of the basements were electrical rooms, full of large circuit breaker and fuse panels. One was so old it was fenced in due to having exposed live parts - that was in the 1916 bldg., and was still in use. In the sub-sub I found some of the boilers and chillers, along with several big pumps. An area next to this had one of the diesel emergency gen-sets (they had more than one).

In one of the 1800's bldgs. I found a very old elevator. It had a very ornate plate around the call buttons on the wall. I wanted it, but didn't have my tools that day. In the Carew Tower section, I found an elevator bank that was original to the bldg., with beautiful etched Art Deco stainless steel or Monel doors. This was back in a stock area, but had obviously been a selling floor area at one time. The elevators were no longer in use.

While in the sub-basement one day, I went through a door that led to 3 or 4 steps which went down to a wide hallway. The door locked behind me, so I had to go down this hall about 150', past several sets of steps leading to doors that had various business names on them. I came to a stairwell, went up it, and came out next to the main elevators in the Carew Tower. I found out this hallway was under the lower arcade.

I had always wondered about a set of small doors in various areas of the 1916 bldg. One had the bottom at floor level, and the top about 5' high. Next to this was a smaller door, the bottom about 3' off the floor, and the top lined up with the larger. So I pushed them open, and found that each was connected to a spiral chute. The larger had been fire escapes, and the smaller were package chutes to send things down to the shipping dept. I soon found that people were trying out the fire chutes, so I went up to the top floor and went down it, and came out on the 1st. floor near one of the entrances. Needless to say, my clothes were pretty dirty when I got down.

Among many of my purchases were some blueprints of the Carew Tower section of the store. Included in these were the original drawings for the design of the elevator doors I mentioned above. I also bought 2 chrome frame chairs, which were designed by Gilbert Rohde for the Troy Sunshade Co. I paid $20 each, and found they are worth several hundred each. I think I spent a little over $100 altogether, but got well over $1000 of various items.

Post# 953141 , Reply# 22   8/16/2017 at 18:57 (738 days old) by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        
In Breed Hills..

neptunebob's profile picture
The secret room was like the one in this video- everywhere you turned around, kids!


Post# 953193 , Reply# 23   8/17/2017 at 08:24 (737 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
"old main" building

at Wayne state university.
A few of us may have heard all the rumors, or um, stories

Post# 953444 , Reply# 24   8/18/2017 at 15:53 (736 days old) by DaveTranter (Central England)        
Tolivac et al

Old school organ specs.

Sorry if this bores most people ;-)

2M + P Built by a local firm (Stringers) around the 1880s, initially installed in a small church, and bought by the school in 1942, the casework being added in 1946 in memory of the Old Boys of the school who lost their lives in WW2
The instrument was rebuilt with only minor modifications in 1981.
Manuals tracker action. Pedals electric action


Open Diapason 8
Stopped Flute 8
Stopped Bass 8
Principal 4
Flute 4
Fifteenth 2
Sesquialtera II (12,17)
Mixture II (19,22)


Open Diapason 8
Viol D'Amore 8
Geigen Principal 4
Piccolo 2
Hautboy 8
Cornopean 8


Open Diapason 16 (wood)
Bourdon 16
Flute 8
Fifteenth 4

Reading that surprises me.... I could have sworn it had a twelfth!!

It's a pleasant sounding instrument. If I ever become 'upgraded' I may post a .mp3 file of a (sadly rather obscure) piece being played upon it.

All best

Dave T
P.S. Sadly, the system has absorbed all 'superfluous' spaces, and thereby removed the formatting of the specs... :-(

Post# 953492 , Reply# 25   8/19/2017 at 01:49 (735 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Dave--the organ specs were good for me--!!Wasn't bored at all-interesting-like seeing "specs" on various organs.Including "organ crawls"!-tours of the pipe rooms.

Post# 953550 , Reply# 26   8/19/2017 at 11:19 (735 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Yes, but

different organ.

Post# 953636 , Reply# 27   8/19/2017 at 19:49 (735 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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"Who's the man who sets his work aside 'cause he finds a place to hide? (Dave!)"

--Yes, ELEVATOR SHAFTS! --At the hospital I worked at, one wing going up to only three stories was operated by the machinery & pulleys in a small Elevator Equipment room, while the other wing had seven stories with a larger room containing even more greater machinery and the pulleys channeled in these large horizontally laid vessels that our A/C-Refrigeration maintenance man (who promised me the GE Americana fridge to be saved so that I may save the Temp. control/light cover of & pry the name-plate from, after he'd sucked out all the refrigerant from it) said that room was his shop--and surprisingly that room housing a set of stairs leading to that loft WAS UNLOCKED!

--Also I drove around that elementary school (you know WHICH ONE!) to view that raised roof over the gymnasium to get the long-overdue view of the set of vents in the back of which below it are--THE FAN ROOM!!!!

Hey, here's where an elevator shaft was consensually employed--Hal Blaine's drumming, on Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer", along with all a number of other gaffes & gimmicks in the makings of:

-- Dave


Post# 953671 , Reply# 28   8/20/2017 at 10:19 (734 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
walked right into this one:

Yes, a sort of elevation was involved. Some were shafted, some due to low productivity.

Post# 969075 , Reply# 29   11/20/2017 at 09:32 (642 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Going on the mission to discard the broken/unwanted/unused/obsolete A/V equipment at the janitor's office led me to make a funny story about it to a fellow-classmate, that the janitor wanted to call the equipment "Mother-F#$*!'ers, though left the word "Mothers", whereas I told the fellow-young lad that he used the "F-Word", to the over-hearing teacher's disbelief, and luckily my own body & soul having been spared by getting away with only "Fffff-finish the rest", rather than the whole word--the door knob didn't turn right, so at least a CLEAN funny story of how the maintenance room could have a door knob you can't get into it through, and I think I could at least get easily out of...

The place I work at now, I was deadly curious about the meat room, particularly the band saw, unlike the big oval-headed one in wood shop class, it is a smaller square-shaped one, with as little of the blade exposed (I was not that brave that I could walk closer to it, even with it turned off as this was after-hours there) which is where I'd first seen such a saw, actually at a small butcher shop (meat-cutters use these/those, the shop teacher explained, thirty-five years ago, a seventh grader w/ an unfortunately SECOND grade mentality, and that being the only year--semester actually,--I'd taken that course & pulled a "C", mostly making candle holders, a pac man as was trendy to do back then, a spice rack (w/ the back unevenly put on, the teacher cut off the overlapping w/ his table saw, whereas my sister's teacher graded her on a curve for sloppy work, (her spice rack, & mostly other work was similarly sub-par) my teacher dinged me everywhere for stuff slightly slip-shod) and even my own miniature table saw (w/ a cardboard blade, and a future metal or plastic one, and maybe a motor to run it--God knows what I was thinking--maybe I needed to make a GUITAR as a classmate/friend of mine suggested--never materialized)...

I think what was mostly disturbing besides the hazardous equipment, (even the wrapping system is motorized & its use requires great coordination, skill, consciousness and care!) was the smell of the meat heavily in the air--the produce & bakery areas, heavy enough to cut with a knife (yes, I will be courageous enough to survey that room another time, some more, and check out the cleavers, knives & other cutting & carving equipment) could also be just as bad...

(Should I add something gory, in that sort of a scenario, to my short-story novel as well?)

I had a friend who's father was a meat-cutter, too... He had a whole life-long career of working at butchers, warehouses, supermarkets, packing plants & although of Chaldean-Catholic descent he had even worked in many Kosher-Orthodox Jewish facilities as well...

-- Dave

Post# 969105 , Reply# 30   11/20/2017 at 13:42 (642 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

I loved secret rooms. Most of the ones at my elementary school were pretty boring, with nothing more than book cases, desks and textbooks, but one of them had interesting relics. Old/broken PCs from the 1980s, those ancient Buhl overhead projectors, a couple of Eureka (not Sanitaire) F&G vacuums, old box fans, an old 1980s copier (Mita, I think?) and tons of other stuff.

The janitors room fascinated me. Aside from the pair of Sanitaires, thats where the HUGE forced-air furnace was housed, original to the building (early 1960s). It was about four feet wide, and you could see and hear the NG burners in full force.

I would have loved to have seen that "Fan Room" in your school, Dave. A room dedicated just for fans seems so ominous, a product of nightmares. At that age I was fascinated with fans, but the large, metal ones spooked me. Still, I'd have to get a peek if I were a student in that school. The only large fans I knew of were in the gym, way up high on the wall towards the ceiling.

Post# 969174 , Reply# 31   11/20/2017 at 23:44 (641 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Yes, the Fan Room, I could only make out a big machine with the set up steps to the side of it, while louvers are on a portion of the raised wall high above it sit over it on the roof top, so a quickly swinging door shutting on it hardly gives me a good, lasting view--and surely other schools in my district and a world of others got me reeling with curiosity...

Numerous typo-'s on my details on my wood shop class: "meat cutters use these " explains the shop teacher about the band saw, an oval-top one vs. the square-top a butcher shop I'd been in had, and seen other oval-tops at supermarket ones doing more cutting, and was shocked at the cheapness the one at Kroger that I now work at uses, and again, the raw meat-smell in the air got too intolerable to take in more of this prep-area, with a few other annexes (unseen) upstairs over the actual dept. (meat and seafood) below, via an elevator, of which one other is used by the bakery, deli and produce...

Like I said, the teacher was the only one who could use the table saw, High School, I'm sure the students and teach could use everything, but as a seventh-grader with a SECOND grade mentality, just took the course for a semester, and I believe that's how long my sis two years/grades younger than me even had, having a better teacher grading her work on a curve, I just accepted my "C" and "making good effort" vs. this one gal who was his "pet" making stuff on the lathe...

-- Dave

Post# 969182 , Reply# 32   11/21/2017 at 00:29 (641 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Toledo meat cutter band saws are favored by some woodworkers-they convert them to cut wood!!!I have always wanted a Wellsaw 400-these have reciprocating blades mounted on a backing that resembles a handsaw.Now these are used by meat cutters.They used to be sold for woodworking.The woodworking blades ranged from 3 TPI to 8 TPI.
Blower and fan rooms-have PLENTY here for the transmitters.Each GE transmitter and each Continental transmitter has its own 15 Hp blower room.Squirrel cage for the GE's and Axial for the CEMCO's.The old CEMCO's here are slated for replacement with CEMCO t5ransmitters from another VOA site that has closed down.Also the building HVAC system has blowers,boilers ,and chillers just like in some schools.

Post# 976284 , Reply# 33   12/31/2017 at 10:02 (601 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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I've seen so many different meat saws at even whatever few butcher shops (when they were up front & visible) or through windows of what little supermarket meat counters I'd been to, long ago when I was a kid...

Which that long ago, at one butcher place we'd frequented, I would put my hands over my ears, whenever the saw was turned on (I was bothered by the noise, than the more volatile cutting purpose it served)... (I can recall my mom answering, when probably asked by the worker there, "He doesn't like the noise of the saw"...)

So brands I vividly remember, are Toledo, (orange lettering going down vertically) Biro, Butcher Boy, and of course, Hobart...

Now as for the couple meat rooms at another Kroger (the one by my dad's, which I occasionally shop at) I was "band saw stalking around", there... One room had aprons, and jackets & other wearable-gear having on hooks, I was staring dead at, through the door windows to them windows (that my store just may have in the other rooms and annexes in the actual room I had been in and out of a couple times that I didn't stay in long enough to get any sort of view of, as they were off to the side) just for a few people (the workers and my fellow-customers and shoppers) around me, STARING DEAD at ME, thinking I was "needing to be put-away somewhere" WEIRD!!!!)... So there was probably the wrapping & preparation room (a conveyor belt leads to) which my store has, and surely a good corner of the machine sticking out--like I said, we have a cheap plastic no-brand square w/ just enough blade sticking out to do whatever cutting required, and hopefully somehow claim the fewest accidents and injuries, compared to other hazardous equipment & situations typically abound...

Think I'll look through the window at the Kosher place next (a supermarket w/ a meat counter) and there is also an actual butcher shop, too--though at a lot of those, the saws have been moved to the back...

-- Dave

Post# 976333 , Reply# 34   12/31/2017 at 14:30 (601 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver)        

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Believe it or not the "Custodian's Office" was one of the first rooms I was ever in at my first elementary school. One of our neighbors worked in the kitchen, and one day I went with mom and visited her at work, naturally since the back door to the kitchen opened into the storage area of the janitor's room, which had doors that opened to the area where the dumpster was, and where delivery trucks would back up, I ended up walking through there. Thats when I saw something so magical that I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling thinking about it... Wasn't a boiler, as this school had package units on the roof, it was the NSS M-1! And several of them! I honestly didn't see a boiler room until middle school as both elementary schools I went to had the package units on the roof. 

  View Full Size
Post# 976381 , Reply# 35   1/1/2018 at 00:59 (600 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

AWWW-YES-the NSS M1 vacuums-a favorite with schools-like the old style "kidney" bag on the one shown!!!Want one of this style!

Post# 976483 , Reply# 36   1/1/2018 at 17:18 (600 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

The high school building that I taught in for 30 years had all kinds of places to hide etc. In the hallway downstairs, there were doors that were set in the walls. Those doors led to pipe chases etc. for maintenance purposes. The building was built in 1928 and was torn down a year ago.
The boiler room contained two huge Kewanee steam boilers in it, which were fired by NG. When the boilers called for heat, a huge flame, probably 6 feet long shot into the boilers. The whole place shook. Talk about scary but fun too. Gary

Post# 976492 , Reply# 37   1/1/2018 at 17:48 (600 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

These are two pictures of the high school that I taught in that go with the above post.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 976552 , Reply# 38   1/2/2018 at 00:42 (599 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Abcomatic-nice old school-sad end!Liked those old,classic schools!

Post# 976763 , Reply# 39   1/3/2018 at 18:20 (598 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Gary, the school you taught in reminds me of one that was a few hundred feet down the road from my sister's house. It was also built in 1928, and demolished about 5 years ago. I suggested to my sister that she and her husband buy it, and turn it into a nursing home (she's an RN). They said it would cost way to much, and it wasn't a good location for one. They didn't want to start a B&B in it either. A small portion built in the 50's remains as storage for school district equipment, along with the playground & ball field. Link shows pic of original bldg.

From the Spring of '85 until the Winter of '86 I did a long-term temp job at Cincinnati's University Hospital. The original buildings were built in 1915, including Pavilion J, where the office I was in was located. The patient care area had been opened in '69, and a medical science building also was built around that time. These two buildings replaced several of the original sections. Another newer building had been built in the early 50's. The office I worked in was on the 2nd. floor of a 4 story building, which also had a basement. At the basement level there was a connection to a tunnel, which at one time had connected all of the original buildings. The newer buildings also connected to these passageways, and a new tunnel was constructed between these areas. Some of these tunnels had doors leading to other tunnels that were only for maintenance purposes. These contained pipes, conduits, etc. There supposedly is (or was at one time), a tunnel leading under the street to the Children's Hospital, and another to the Holmes Hospital. A co-worker claimed she had been in it when her sister was a CH patient in the 50's, but we could never find the access point to it. Another co-worker's husband worked in maintenance, and said it had been blocked by recent construction. The J Pavilion had an area we referred to as the "attic", but it was NOT the top floor, but rather the 3rd. It had originally been patient wards, but not used as such since the early 50's. It wasn't well lit, and was somewhat spooky up there. I had to go up there to retrieve files occasionally, or accompany a co-worker who was afraid to go alone. There were old beds and wheelchairs up there, along with other old stored items. One area had an old Kaiser dishwasher in a countertop. That building along with some adjoining ones was torn down after I left there. I think a parking garage replaced it. I would go back occasionally if I had an appointment in that area and have lunch with my former co-worker Debbie. The last couple times I was there if was difficult to find my way around, as so much had changed. She retired a couple years ago, so haven't been back.


Post# 976786 , Reply# 40   1/3/2018 at 22:06 (597 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        
Hi Tom

It is difficult to go back too, you are right. The building in the picture is a wonderful example of school architecture during the 20's. If is very difficult to
use these types of for other things. High ceilings, many big windows, etc. makes it difficult to rebuild into something else. Thanks, Gary

Post# 977602 , Reply# 41   1/9/2018 at 09:24 (592 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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The one elementary school that I went to at one time was a high school--so the gym had a Boys Locker Room & a Girls Locker Room--and each had a shower room, with a single incandescent bulb housed in a glass upside-down dome, though one of these locker rooms was used as an equipment room while the other was unused & the gym teacher gave his class, including me, a glimpse at the unused room, with the dome from the shower room in that one missing--while I can surmise that the unused room was the Boys Locker Room, as against the wall I can visualize some porcelain wells sticking out of, that was where clearly what separated Boys from Girls, in terms of which locker room was which...

The gym had a "Sys-ync" noise coming from the ceiling, we jokingly said was a "ghost" only for the school custodian to one day happening to be in the gymnasium & the teacher quoted with "yes, he's the expert--let's ask him", then all of us being quoted down to hear the noise occur, then for the custodian to say (though this many years later, I forgot, other than it probably had to do with what is a very-antiquated heating/ventilating system, possibly in relation to the thermostat, in of all places, a room like our gymnasium, doubling also as an auditorium, hence it was dubbed as in nearly all of our school system--Multipurpose Room, and this is the school I'd attended in 5th Grade, so I graduated in that room: "When I leave, Carver School, I plan to leave my helpfulness", my shy self left as my farewell address, and there were enough "I plan to leave my ____" for the whole class--my homeroom teacher gave me that sheet of paper a week before, leaving me wondering what its purpose was, before everyone at the microphone, after receiving our diplomas, clued me in--we even had caps & gowns & I quickly learned the steps of the march--as for Carver, it was George Washington Carver & there couldn't have been a better time to go there if it was when The Blues Bothers Movie came out & I likened it to The Orphanage that Jake & Elwood were trying to save--needless to say, it needs similar salvation, although trips by it--occasional at that--saw it used for some other importune function, to where even all of the graffiti is gone--$conni, frequently seen written in a lot of places, and of all: even close to the Downriver area...

Now, a trip to one of my local Sam's Clubs and around the Meat Dept. let me see their band saw--a huge "Now THIS is a SAW" also employed at the Kosher supermarket (though there its back was tuned towards me & the flat part boasting the name plate was faced away, so in the sideways glance, only saw the hub housing the upper-wheel) while the Sam's (there are Three of them locally, so I might investigate the other two) was it moved further away, and another back glance at the side of, although a blade wrapped around it giving me the only clue what it was, while in the background of the preparation area, was the couple of sinks & a sprayer not to mention an arsenal of knives against the wall everywhere in sight, and no one using the saw at either place, of which I tried to avoid the "May I help you?" that I would have been asked, as I didn't want to reveal the real nature of my well, obsession--must be the "35-years-ago" vortex that I find myself in...

Going to the Harvard Row meat place (a free standing Butcher) next--though too far west of me top make an easy trip to, right now...

-- Dave

Post# 977625 , Reply# 42   1/9/2018 at 11:02 (592 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
I was actually part of such a mystry room

First off, during primary school, there was one area that I often walked by but never was allowed to enter.
It was a big hall like storage room being the 2nd way connecting the workshops in the basement to the main floor.

There was a washer there that I always only could spot from afar, now I'm guessing it was some old industrial machine, something like a Huwa or Schulthess, definetly not a Miele.
The house keeping ladies washed there mops in there.
At some point during winter break it was replaced by a standard Miele VivaStar.
That vanished at some point as well, not being replaced.

Another mystery room was below my old dentist. Walking up the stairs you could spot a washer (cheap brand that was then sold by Aldi) that was used to wash the prxis clothing.

But the room I was actually part of was the liberay for school books at my "Gymnasium".
In 8th grade, the different clases of my grade got shuffeled around, thus, we also had new teacher.
The teacher that originally ran that liberay was going into retirement, and a completly new teach was to take over.
By coincidence, that teacher was our (verry awesome in my opinion) chemestry teacher together with our new physics teach.
Cause the old students that were doing that job were finishing school, they needed new once.

So it was the first lesson of a new grade, our classes head teacher (we were that class that had the 15 or so people in it that were in the advanced sports course, so he was a sports teacher as well) was explaining that we as a special class would have to be a symbol to other classes how to behave and thus we would be especially carefully teached, with only the greatest sucess and order in mind.

Suddenly, the door opend and a 6ft hunk of man in his early 30s entered the room.
He just plain interupted our teacher, introduced himself as our chemistry teacher and that he would need 4 of us to help.
My and my best friend next to me immediatly recognized the chance, our hands shot up as fast as never before and luckily, we were picked.

Now, that room was in the basement, next to one of our computer rooms, so not even that far of the normal daily passages.
But it was of course behind a large metal fire saftey door.
Behind that door, you would find a simmilar door straight ahead, and 2 normal sized but also metal fireproof doors. To the left was storage, ahead was a server room and a emergency exit, and to the right was that libary.
The liberay itself was about 6 on 6 meters, with metal free standing (yes, they were not bolted down) heavy weight shelfings along three of the walls, starting right beside the door which was in a corner of the room, and ending on the opposite of that.
In the middle of the room were 4 rows of each 2 of these shelfes side by side, basicly creating 4 little corridors. The shelfes were however double sided and thus double depth compared to the once on the wall, so that you would have a wall of books to your left and right if you entered one of these corridors.

To the left of the door were 2 normal sized work desks with 2 chairs each, a computer and some other stuff you need for the job like stamps etc.

Our job was to first integrate all the books in the new digital barcode based system, then to exchange and sort out all old books (the change from a 9 year "Gymnasium" to a 8 year one was just finished and not all books had been removed yet) while managing the typical start of the year job of giving out the new books.
Meanwhile, we also had to take care of new order, integrating new deliverys into our system and doing other customer service kind of stuff (recalling broken books, helping people who need special books, helping new students or teachers).

So, we were asigned to have a mayor part of the power over the books in our school, with a room nobody except us was allowed to enter without permission, all to our self.
Oh, and we had 2 weeks we were not required to attend our normal lessons so we could handle the yearly book switchover from grade to grade.
And we got lots of free sweets, coffee, cake and pizza.

As we grew more familiar with our jobs, and with the teachers overseeing us, we kind of took the overhand over our teachers and sometimes even our principal.
For example, instead of takeing back the now finished grades books from all students before the summer holidays and handing the new once out after the holidays (both procedures took about 3 weeks combined), we were abled to shift all the takeing back and giving out before the holidays, starting at the highest grade that left the school, takeing back the next lower grade books and directly handing out all the books we just took back, working our way down all grades.
That way we only had to integrate new books and hand out the new students books after the holidays, allowing us to still have 3 weeks of free time, but effectivley only working 2. And we only ever had a small stack of each book in our storage, so the room was way less cramped.
Further, we also had the power to decide whether someones book was acceptable or if its condition was to bad to continue using it. If the book was relativley new, the student then had to pay for it.

There was so much this room enabled us to do, it gave us power, made us immune to most any teach and any other student.
We were a seperate group of people that grew from 4 originally up to a friendship group of 10 from different grades.
We didn't have to work any hard work, we had additional holidays, our teachers and principal loved us, our fellow students didn't dare to attack us in any which way and we could thrive.

Just beautiful.

Post# 977632 , Reply# 43   1/9/2018 at 12:09 (592 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Well, at one school the Spanish class I took in high school and a few other electives got moved to the building that housed our former middle school--close to where I grew up vs. MS moving an exact mile away...

Even some Berkeley high kids, had to get all the way out there and little did I know the blue Omini 0-24 (1980) I saw, was of the gal I would later work at Arbor drugs with--have a crush on and a few other naughty things but get involved passed her boyfriend which saw her be the 1st to give a teenage birth in her class, she'd told me, as well, marrying this guy and her son having two sisters that I had no idea could be many years apart--well, wait:

Back to topic: the lounge there in one hall I was pointedly to not go walk through had a fridge, dishwasher and stove, Admiral, Caloric, and Westinghouse, respectively...

The class only had five kids in it, me and a couple others from my school and a couple Madison Heights gals... 'Nuff said...

But, I guess like Roosevelt (where I attended) and Clinton that this place was, now an Adult Ed. Facility housing the school bus and district works facility, as well as being next to the administration building could be just as loaded with other secret rooms, of the like!

-- Dave

Post# 977818 , Reply# 44   1/10/2018 at 20:49 (590 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

Not a secret-room story exactly, but interesting... The NASA Mission Control Center building in Houston is built in two halves, with elevator banks and stairs separating the halves. For reasons unknown to me, the two halves of the building have their floor levels offset by about 6 feet. The elevators have doors at both ends, and which door opens depends on which floor you select. To make it odder, in a couple of places, there are half-floors wedged in between, which can only be accessed from certain elevators.

When I worked on the Shuttle program, the joke was that one of the two halves of the building was offset from reality by 6 feet -- but we couldn't figure out which half.

Post# 977835 , Reply# 45   1/11/2018 at 00:13 (590 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
But I wanna talk about SAWS--(& why the obsession?)

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I got brave enough now the day before yesterday to go back into that meat room, until it seemed like I was next to the thing (that, or the room it's in is THAT SMALL!) though still haven't seen how you turn it on & off...

The other room in there wasn't near what the other Kroger I had been to looked like, or it was a regular preparation room w/o the stuff hanging in it, which we must have a similar room somewhere in those quarters, perhaps in the cooler or freezer, there are a couple doors leading to...

This other room I got a better glimpse of had a saw designed for more SERIOUS sawing--just like the big corporation I work at then to junk a good saw--the thing looked badly in disuse, hence the other one being used, once I got passed the still-thick & heavy smell of meat in the air, seemed more for cutting paper...

There's the supermarket by my dad's house, (a Spartan store) so poking my head around the meat dept. there allowed me to hear the faint Swwweeeee, Sweeeee, of the saw & the guy w/ his back turned running it, as another view through a door window allowed...

There's also another market that used to be around where I lived, known as Farm Fresh (built into an old Farmer Jack, which I'd been to /shopped at as well) now moved a few miles away, having two meat depths like each orig. incarnation had--so to pay it/them a visit...

Then, there used to be the old Chatham Supermarket near where I lived which is now a clothing store, and it tried its hand at being another supermarket--this is decades ago--that I miss, when it went from Chatham to A&P, to some other place (where I visibly saw the meat cutting in the large window there, going on)...

Oh, the Arbor had a basement, an area sealed off & musty smelling and spent time as a supermarket of some sort (also A&P most-likely) so "the dungeon" as it was called was storage for fixtures, in a couple unused restrooms (the fixtures all taken out, other than the unusable sinks) had a door leading to it you probably could be as locked in as it being the only way out--as some stairs in there led to a trap door that was really a sealed up ceiling and above it was a pattern sealing up that area of the floor, so a stair and conveyor belt in the back of the stock room was what was used for up/down for people as well as freight...

Like the Dungeon, that old George Washington Carver Elementary School had a mustiness of its own, too... (One other school, John Dewey Elementary, I was briefly in, was going to be a hospice, but I don't think the plan for it to be such ever came through, so it's a mysterious, unused & most-likely haunted building...

-- Dave

Post# 977882 , Reply# 46   1/11/2018 at 10:30 (590 days old) by iej (Ireland)        

My school literally resembled Hogwarts so there were plenty of interesting rooms full of strange antique sports gear and stuff lol

Post# 979285 , Reply# 47   1/21/2018 at 08:19 (580 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Nope, no plastic Fisher Price toy at Hollywood market--that had a big Biro (red circle in the center of the square) w/ a lot of blade showing, compared to the too much guard I would see, and I looked through the door window of the door from the deli (deli & bakery & even the produce & general grocery backrooms had also got me on my tippy toes peeking around--the stairs in the backroom at the Kroger by my dad's look nicer, painted white & not in a hall, too), and another Kroger by the one I work at had a big saw (probably a Biro, or the like) there, too, along with some other machine with gears maybe for making labels, and no Mattel it is, as the machinery inside seemed fully exposed...

Last, I went to the free-standing butcher luckily a few hours before it closed (it was a Friday) and an unused Biro was by the doorway in the back, (no blade) while right behind the counter, was one that looked like it did a lot of work--just on meat...

I was surprised, when I thought of it, that I saw no meat grinder, surely grinding meat would be a frequent job and power operation would be needed there as well--but there was a lot of equipment, and people (taking orders for chicken (you can get roasted rotisserie) and Choulnt), to be seen--and me, as well, making a mention: "Biro, eh?"...

Holliday market (& probably Westborn, I hadn't gone to) as well as Save-A-Lot, and the Meijers didn't seem to have their rooms as visible... And don't know about Aldi--just know when I was at Walmart we didn't seem to have anything like that in our meat room, there...

Like I said, there are other grocery areas, and even our own produce, bakery & deli, I never got to see at my own store entirely, that I'm curious about...

-- Dave


Post# 1016864 , Reply# 48   12/5/2018 at 01:39 (262 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
More stories, more cerebral:

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The special needs (severely impaired) students classroom in high school had a room in the back with an Amana top freezer refrigerator that I would have lamped everyone there to have opened or closed Kenmores and Coldspots and operated Sears Roebuck-such in their own homes (as far as probably most of the help goes, the students had parents/foster care/guardians, etc. do for them, or be supervised doing) than have their fingers wrapped around those handles of what must have been the most-reliable fridge to keep their meds and maybe treats in (they’ve easily shoveled the yucky school food in their mouths, as they’d eaten their lunches in our cafeteria in order to, as a friend of mine put it, had to “face society”)...

The door to that area had blue paper taped over with blue tape, normally seen in hospitals/medical facilities, and beds with cubicle-style curtains were in that room...

Also, years before working in food retail, I had to press my nose between swinging doors at what was the Chatham supermarket near where I live now, becoming Farmer a Jack, A&P, some independent place, then bearing a couple names of TJ Max-type of stores (clothing/small lines of home/domestic soft goods) such as AJ Wright, then Fallas, and now currently sitting around, vacant and empty...

Oh, and back then at Chatham, I went upstairs to use the bathroom, and the Men’s sign was torn, making Women’s easier to identify, just to be told by a lady worker “That’s the Girl’s room!”...

The pressing my nose between the doors? I was wondering what the bad smell was... I asked my dad (who wasn’t there with us, but he’s the kind of guy who “knows everything”) and he simply said “maybe it’s spoiled tuna fish”, still fueling my curiosity than providing any answer—but I worked at Walmart, which had a grocery department, and now Kroger, so I now know all about rancid smells at places that are supposed to be fresh...!

Then, there was a Farmer Jack that i used the bathroom at—okay, another meat area, but I went about my own biz—where one worker asked another “who invited him (me) here?”, it was in the back, and before that the A&P near my house I grew up at, had a produce area with an interesting hot water heater pipe go through the tiled ceiling above it, a door open let me peep through (a horn trill from a Sesame Street’s “letter O”, “Ox” skit popped into my head, then)...

Think I was curious about an old man worker in his smock led into a room in the back room via another door up front opened with two well-dressed men, one in a white shirt and tie, the other in a suit and tie, accompanied by another man wearing his white butchers apron, carrying a briefcase—he was probably leader with the Union...

— Dave

Post# 1016892 , Reply# 49   12/5/2018 at 10:00 (262 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

there was a Dexter-Davison supermarket at about Ten Mile and Coolidge that Borman's also bought.
Each store had two union sterwards before the almalgamted meatcutters merged with the U.F.C.W. union. One for the meat depts., and one for the rest of the store.
Also, the chain also had a district supervisor for grocery, one for meat, and one for produce. They all wore suits. Before A&P bough the chain, there was one supervisor for each dept. for about every nine to a dozen stores.
We had 50 stores in 1976. By 1986 when we bought seven Chatham's from the Wiseberg's, we had 85 stores. They only kept the Warehouse way stores.
There was shenanigans and money/merchandise funneling going on between the Chatham upper level management and Hamidy bros. stores in Flint.
Once Chatham filed for bankruptcy and hired a young accountant to piece-meal sell off the stores, after he heard of how many lost their jobs, he killed himself.

Post# 1030885 , Reply# 50   4/26/2019 at 11:59 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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The nature center which, last week, I accompanied my daughter on her field trip to...


Has a kitchen which may or may not be public, (whatever happened to those fancy chromed-metal bars that were door handles on refrigerators, those plastic "grips" are trying to do?!) and most interesting, the Animal Care room, also serving as likely a heating/cooling/ventilation/plumbing, etc. utility area for the building... 



-- Dave

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Post# 1030886 , Reply# 51   4/26/2019 at 12:04 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Plants, and Birds, and Rocks, and Things...

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More pictures of the actual Center, that I couldn’t send from my phone, to the big computer, so taken from the gallery on my phone, though wish I’d photographed stuff from our actual nature hike...

— Dave

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Post# 1030895 , Reply# 52   4/26/2019 at 14:26 by Kate1 (Idaho)        

What an interesting topic. I hadn’t thought about this in a long time but my old elementary school had been built in the fifties, at a time when the Cold War was something everyone was really worried about, so it had a full bomb shelter in the basement. My hometown is also home to a government nuclear energy testing facility so there’s always been a local concern that we would be a target of some kind of attack (though personally I doubt any foreign government really cares that much about a testing facility in the middle of Idaho). I remember being shown the bomb shelter and told if there was ever an emergency, we would all be brought down there. There were a handful of other schools here built at the same time, using identical floor plans. They’ve started tearing them down and replacing them with more modern buildings. My children’s school is one of these, the year before we moved to that school they had torn down the original, with bomb shelter, and then replaced it with a brand new one. They didn’t even keep the same footprint of the original building so no bomb shelters in the new ones I’m sure.

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