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Campus Detective


By Kris Cabulong
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
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Question:

"What's with all the underground tunnels around campus?"

Answer:

The tunnels lead to a secret underground bomb shelter with enough food and supplies to last 300 of the UA's elite for a year and a half ! The tunnels lead to a secret meeting area for the enigmatic May Day conspirators, a series of rooms that seismic readings have revealed to be a giant puzzle box of unforgiving logic puzzles and death traps guarded by 1,000-year-old knights from the last crusade! The tunnels are a secret burial ground housing the remains of previous university presidents!

I'm sure you've heard all of these before, but only one of them is true. I mean, that is, none of them are true.

On the UA facilities management Web site, it says the system of tunnels were initially installed in 1926 and upgraded in the years since, with the largest expansion occurring during the 1960s and with the most recent additions put into place in 2001. There are seven miles of utility tunnels under the Main Campus alone, with another system built under the Arizona Health Sciences Center.

I took a tour down there under the SUMC with Maintenance Supervisor Paul Ewer and we found a veritable cornucopia of interesting ... stuff. Hot water pipes, cold water pipes, reclaimed water pipes, electric circuits, pneumatic air systems, fire safety systems, telecommunications, etc. It's really cramped and hot down there, so I wouldn't recommend it as a place for playing Magic: The Gathering all dressed up in robes and wizard hats. Maybe that's how the fire started down there 10 years back - a lesson in taking games too seriously. And yes, there was a mysterious fire down there some time back, according to public relations spokesperson Sharon Kha, and firefighters had a time of it trying to put it out (see electric circuits, reclaimed water piping, etc.).

I've yet to check the alignment of the tunnel entrances with an astrological map, but I'm guessing that this is all there is to this mystery. Case closed.

I need work! And you want to see your name in the paper! If you've got a UA-related mystery or conspiracy, e-mail catcalls@wildcat.arizona.edu.



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