Echo on the move: Hidden treasures of B-Building

Jada Quinn, Reporter

Mountain Echo

Inside Altoona Area High School’s B-Building, there are many hidden places that students are not permitted, and many students and staff members are unaware that these places even exist. 

Staircase to the roof

What seems like a normal janitorial closet on the second floor of the B-Building actually opens up to a long, slim spiral staircase. 

“That door on the right will lead you right to the roof,” Doug Dibert, head custodian, said.

It’s tall and black, and it leads users to a door at the top, which opens directly to the roof of the building. 

The “pit”

When students are on their way to the auditorium in the building, they will almost always pass a small door that is right in between the band room and the stage. 

When this door is open, another small door on the floor is revealed. When opened, there’s a long ladder that leads down into a large pit that is under the stage of the building. This was used for a way to utilize the tunnel system when they were open, which lead to different places around the school. The tunnels have since been sealed off. 

“Makes your stomach hurt a little bit,” senior principal Vince Nedimyer said looking down into the pit.

Tunnel to the heat plant

In a small storage closet, there is a second door that opens up to a set of stairs. They lead down past the old gun range and a small room filled with files. The room then opens up to a large hallway, which goes down under Sixth Avenue and leads to right under the heat plant. 

“So this is why it’s so hot in the B-Building,” junior Jocelyn Fetter said.

The tunnels used to go all the way from the high school, to the heat plant, to Roosevelt underneath the field. 

“There is still a tunnel that goes over to the public library,” Dibert said.  

The gun range 

Every high schooler who goes to Altoona has heard the stories about the gun range downstairs. Well, for once, the rumors are true. There is a gun range under the B-Building, in a room that is now being used to hold old files, old computers, and a few other things that are not currently in use. 

The gun range obviously hasn’t been used for many years, but it was used for shooting competitions. 

It is now used for storage.