Digging into the GBN tunnels

Nora Smith, Executive Opinions Editor

Whether you have heard about them from a friend or you are just learning about them now, the Glenbrook North tunnels have been the subject of many rumors. Curious about the truth, I talked to an administrator to arrange a time for us to go into the tunnels together with Plant Operator Dan Whisler, who gave us true information about the tunnels.

The tunnels had been constructed to run piping, cooling, hot water and other utilities so they were not in the way of classrooms. The maintenance staff uses the tunnels frequently, and they do daily walkthroughs to make sure everything is functioning properly. 

After we talked more, he led us to one of the tunnel entrances in the boiler room, which is in the C Wing near the art rooms. The tunnels were nothing like the musty, run-down trenches I had been expecting. There was a cement floor and many pipes lining the walls, some of which we had to climb over to get to the open part of the tunnel. I was told not all of the tunnels are as easily accessible as the one we saw. Some are in worse condition, with pipes blocking most of the passageways, and some of the older tunnels have dirt floors. 

As we stood in the tunnel, I asked about the rumors I was still wondering about. We were told the tunnels are under almost every hallway at GBN, excluding the F Wing, which only has a partial tunnel underneath it. So, the rumors about one tunnel leading to Downtown Northbrook and another going to Maple are not true. The maintenance staff rarely sees anything larger than a mouse in the tunnels, so the rumors about rats and other creatures are also false. The only rumor I confirmed about the tunnels is that there are entrances nearly everywhere around GBN. 

And while you will not be expelled if you go down into them, Associate Principal Kris Frandson said there would be fitting punishment for any student found trying to enter the tunnels.