For displaced, misplaced, and nostalgic ex-Brooklynites

Exploring the 6th floor at P.S. 217


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Posted by Nate on Saturday, September 23rd 2017:

When I was in the 2nd grade at P.S. 217, during the 1950-1951 school year, a classmate of mine and myself always wondered what was past the 5th floor level, where there were classrooms. We could clearly see that there were still stairs leading up
from the fifth floor, to a higher level. We wanted to know what was on the sixth floor level. I remember that both of us went back to 217, after school ended at 3pm. We climbed all of the stairs to the fifth floor, and then decided to see what was above that level. After all, we were learning about various explorers in our history class, and as youngsters, we were very curious. We climbed the stairs to the 6th floor level, and we felt as if we were entering a new frontier. I remember that the view from the staircase window, of the neighborhood, was very good. Finally, we got off at the sixth floor level, and started looking around. There didn't appear to be any classrooms there. In retrospect, I think that it was used by the janitors to store maintenance supplies. I don't think that we traveled more than twenty feet, when we were spotted by the janitor. I don't remember his name, but he was about 60 years old, completely bald, and had steel rimmed glasses. He yelled "HEY", at the top of his lungs. My classmate and myself ran down those stairs and out the door to the street, probably in no more than 40 seconds. Fortunately, we were not seen by anybody else in the building. It should be noted that for the rest of my career at 217 (through the 8th grade graduation), I never ventured past the fifth floor. I spoke to someone who also lives in Columbus, Ohio, who also went to 217, and mentioned that incident to him. He told me that there was another "secret" staircase, which he explored, which I never went on, and was not aware of . In back of the stage in the auditorium, there was a staircase leading upstairs. I don't know how far it went. He decided to explore that staircase, and was caught,and had to report to the principal. Did any of you former 217 students know about or explore the two "secret" staircases, which I mentioned?

Reference ID: BK95101



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