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Bomb Shelters, Dumbwaiters and Secret Chutes: Exploring the Blanchet Underworld

Maisie Holt
Our school has numerous interesting nooks and crannies.

Bishop Blanchet High School is a school with a lot of interesting secrets and history. Secret spots are hidden places around the school that students might see everyday, or not, but don’t know the full story behind them. They give us a glimpse into how the school used to be and the interesting features it has.

One of these secrets is the shelter located in the basement area. A shelter is a protected space where people can hide during times of danger, such as during a bombing or emergency. The shelter is indicated by a sign and is available for anyone to use for safety. “You are welcome to hide” says Vlad Firsov. (Editor’s note: You are not, in fact, welcome to hide in the basement during or after school hours.)

Another interesting feature of the school is the dumbwaiter. This is a small elevator-like device that is used to transport supplies between different floors of a building. The dumbwaiter has been in use for many years and is still functional today. However, in recent years, it has not run.

In the atrium area of the school, there used to be an old girls’ locker room. Now, the school built new locker rooms, and the old girls’ locker room has been converted into a different space, mostly used for storage.

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The building itself has some interesting features that people may not be aware of. To the naked eye, our school seems to be made of bricks, but in reality it’s actually pure concrete. The building has a strong concrete frame that provides structural support, so people passing by should not be scared of it collapsing. The brick exterior of the building is simply for appearance. This is especially important given the concern about earthquakes.

In room 204, you may notice a large hole in the wall. This hole used to house two separate chimneys that were part of an incinerator used by custodians to dispose of waste. Although the incinerator is no longer in use, the hole has been repurposed. It now serves as a pathway for installing solar panels. The school is soon to be equipped with 135 kilowatts worth of solar panels, and the hole allows for easy installation and connection of the panels.

Another secret spot is the Holy Water chute. In Catholic schools like Bishop Blanchet, there is often a special way to dispose of Holy Water. The Holy Water chute, which resides in Mrs. Bartel’s office is like a special drain or pipe where the Holy Water is drained directly into the earth.

Lastly, there is a pool located on the fourth floor. Because it is situated on the fourth floor, not many people are aware of its existence and it is not easily accessible. This means that the pool is not widely known or easily reached by all students. Instead, it may require special knowledge or connections to discover and gain entry to this hidden spot. For someone to access the pool, students must truly embody the Bear spirit, and find the B hidden in a secret place.

These secret spots and interesting features give us a glimpse into the school’s past and the unique characteristics it possesses.

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About the Contributor
Maisie Holt
Maisie Holt, Reporter
Senior Maisie Holt joins the Miter as a first-year reporter. She gets her news from the Seattle Times as well as her fellow students and teachers at Blanchet. Maisie is an amazing observer and listener which makes for a great reporter to the Blanchet community.  As summer comes to a close and the school year opens, Maisie finds herself enjoying small moments of free time. Capturing sunsets and joyful memories with her friends through her camera, she is excited to capture the BBHS school spirit for the yearbook. Whether that's skiing in the Hood Canal waters in the summer or hiking with her brother, Maisie always tries to find ways to be outside. At Blanchet she is involved in sports like tennis and cross country, while participating in the psychology club. Some of Maisie’s favorite subjects to learn about at Blanchet have been Marine Biology with Mr. Finnegan and American Government with Mr. McGill. This year she is looking forward to getting to know the new students at Blanchet, as well as returning students and teachers. Through photography and or interviews, Maisie hopes to gain a new knowledge and understanding of what BBHS means to her.

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