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Exploring the “tunnels” of JCU

Various+wiring+and+heating+systems+that+support+the+infrastructure+of+campus.
Mario Ghosn
Various wiring and heating systems that support the infrastructure of campus.

In a recent exploration, The Carroll News went where few Blue Streaks have gone before, delving into the mysterious tunnels beneath John Carroll University. 

These tunnels, long shrouded in myths and intrigue, have captured the imagination of students for years. They have been the subject of rumors, often associated with secret passageways for administrators and staff to move covertly through the campus. But the reality that was discovered was quite different, shedding light on the genuine purpose of these hidden corridors.

Contrary to the tales of secret passages, these tunnels serve a critical function as utility conduits, supporting the inner workings of the university. Scott Ulrich, the former mechanical and electrical project manager at JCU, affirmed their purpose as “utility tunnels” during a conversation with The Carroll News. Inside these underground passages, a network of hot water piping is meticulously arranged to provide warmth to most campus buildings. Additionally, they accommodate the university’s electrical infrastructure, ensuring the campus operates efficiently.

Yet these tunnels are not without their challenges and potential risks. Jeremy Johnston, MEP project manager at JCU, highlighted possible hazards, including burns from hot water, arc flash dangers and the risk of electrocution. Workers who navigate these tunnels must wear protective equipment to safeguard against injuries like scrapes and other potential harm.

In essence, these tunnels represent the unsung heroes of John Carroll University, quietly working behind the scenes to maintain the campus’s functionality. Far from the world of intrigue and secrecy that students might have imagined, they embody the dedication of the maintenance workers who labor within them, ensuring the university’s infrastructure remains robust and reliable.

As the secrets of these subterranean passages are unveiled, they remind us of the often unnoticed efforts that underpin our daily lives at John Carroll University. By recognizing the vital role played by these tunnels and their caretakers, we gain a deeper appreciation for the hidden complexities that sustain our educational environment. It is a tribute to the dedicated individuals who work behind the scenes to ensure that our academic pursuits continue without interruption. View the photos collected to put yourself in the shoes of these unsung heroes of JCU! 

The Carroll News thanks Jeremy Johnston and his team for taking the time to give us a tour of these locations.

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About the Contributors
Tate Farinacci, Copy Chief
Tate Farinacci is the Copy Chief for The Carroll News, from Chardon, Ohio. He is currently a junior at John Carroll University, pursuing a major in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies, along with minors in Communication and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights. Beyond his involvement with The Carroll News, Tate is a member of the esteemed John Carroll Speech and Debate Team. He also serves as a peer learning facilitator for the Political Science department and assists the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Additionally, he works as a campus tour guide for the Office of Admissions. In 2023, the Tim Russert Department of Communication recognized his achievements in the sport by awarding him the Austin J. Freeley Debate Scholarship and the Deans Debate Cup. Tate maintains an active lifestyle by hitting the gym, going for runs, and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's an ardent reader, appreciates journaling, and loves to cook in his free time.
Mario Ghosn, Multimedia: Visual and Technical Editor
Mario Ghosn is the Multimedia - Visual and Technical Editor for The Carroll News from Chesterland, Ohio. He is a senior at John Carroll University majoring in Communications with a Concentration in Digital Media. Mario has been writing for the Carroll News since his Junior year where he decided to switch his major to the Communications field to pursue writing and design. In addition to his involvement with The Carroll News, Mario is involved with Campus Ministry and his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. When he is not on campus, Mario spends much of his time at his communications internship with ReliabiltiyFirst, specializing in graphic design and content creation, as well as managing his father’s restaurant, BurgerIM, on the weekends. In the future, Mario hopes to write professionally for television as well as further his education in other fields. To contact Mario, email him at [email protected].

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