Underground Tunnels at Carlow


Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

By Emily Shawgo

With winter rolling in any time now, bringing cold winds and slippery steps and hills, a common sentiment on campus is “I wish we could get from one building to another without having to go outside!”  What many students don’t know, however, is that at one time, this was in fact possible on Carlow’s campus.  Turns out, the campus is actually connected through a web of underground tunnels.  So what are these tunnels, why are they there, and why don’t we get to use them to dodge the winter weather?

If you’ve walked around and looked at the buildings on campus, you’ll have noticed that many of them have yellow signs on them that say “fallout shelter.”  These signs are from the era when nuclear strikes were a common fear, and many were worried about what would be done if the area was hit with a nuclear attack.  These buildings were deemed to be safe protection from a nuclear strike and the radiation that would follow.  However, if something like this were to happen, the inhabitants of the buildings would need a safe way to move from one place to another without going outside and being exposed to deadly radiation.  The solution to this problem was to create underground tunnels that connect all the buildings on the main campus.  These tunnels still exist today.  In recent years, the tunnels have been closed off from the public for safety reasons, but they are still used by maintenance, and the entrance doors can still be seen inside the buildings.  Maybe in the future, Carlow could find a way to renovate the tunnels to be used again by students.  It would certainly be a pretty awesome bonus in the cold winter months!

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