Dane Borovicka, Matt Backes, and Michael Duncan Explored the Dark and Dank Underbelly of Helias Catholic to debunk the myths surrounding them By Matt Backes

It has long been rumored that deep within the bowels of Helias runs a complex system of hallways and tunnels. The prevalence of these rumors has only spread over the years. It is also rumored that the complex tunnels go under some of the classroom floors and that they are used by administrators and teachers to spy on students during class.

“I mean of course I’ve heard of them. Who hasn’t? I never really knew if they were true though,” said Dane Borovicka. “People will talk about them but nobody really knows where they are or where they start.” Nick Carr added, “I’ve talked to people that have seen the tunnels down by the golf room, but I don’t know anyone who has actually gone into the tunnels.”

That sort of confusion seems to run deeply within the thoughts of some Helias students. When questioned, some students were confused as to the location of the tunnels, confusing them with those that run through the second floor of Helias. Matt Backes, Dane Borovicka, and Michael Duncan decided that the best way to learn about the tunnels was to explore them for themselves. Using Sr. Jean as a guide, the intrepid amatuer spelunkers entered the tunnels system via the boiler room entrance. They were immediately met by a deep darkness, which was thwarted only through the use of high powered flashlights.    

The explorers had to deal with low ceilings, incredible amounts of dust, low passages, and in one place, what appeared to be a pile of rubble, with no discernible origin for the rocks.

“I mean it was really dusty going through there,” said Borovicka. “It also got pretty muddy in a few places. All in all however, it was a lot cleaner than I expected.”

While the three spelunkers were going through the tunnels, they encountered a grate in the ceiling. It immediately became clear to the group that that grate was the very same opening that was in the floor of the old gym. They quickly had a surprise, as a group of girls crossed over the grate on their way to the fieldhouse, the spelunkers yelled up at them, and the girls shrieked in surprise, and then yelled back at the explorers.

“I didn’t even know that there was a tunnel by the old gym,” Nick Gaines said. “I was in lifetime sports the other morning and I had no idea someone was walking around underneath the gym floor.”

At the grate, the tunnel ends and the spelunkers made their way back to the boiler room.

Backes, Duncan, and Borovicka then spoke with Sister Jean Dietrich again and she informed them of the tunnels under the second floor. While there is a tunnel system that runs through the second floor of Helias, it is not nearly tall enough to stand in.

Even after the spelunkers explored the old heating tunnels under the old gym, and dispelled some of the myths and legends surrounding them, one thing can be for sure: mystery and intrigue will continue to surround the underbelly of Helias Catholic.    

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