A SLICE OF SHALHEAVEN: Bittersweet farewell to cockroaches, morgues and other memories

Hannah-Leeba Ellenhorn, Lifestyles Editor

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Welcome to the end of an era. Goodbye big beige box on Fairfax and San Vicente. So long, hideous blue-ish carpet. Au revoir alarm-will-sound-if-door-is-opened door that is constantly opened and never alarms. Bon voyage everlasting supply of cockroaches! Goodbye Shalhevet that I have known for so many years.

The date of demolition is in the near future and it’s time that we paid tribute to the wonderful building that has made Shalhevet Shalhevet for so long. After all, it housed not only the coming year’s sophomores, juniors and seniors, but also all the silly stories that took place in its halls.

Perhaps what we’ll miss most about our building is the fact that some students know it better than a lot of the administration, having been here – especially those of us who attended the once-upon-a-time middle school — much longer than our current head of school and other top staff.

It is Shalhevet tradition that the freshmen spend the first month or two exploring the crazy little quirks within the building. Everybody has his or her own theories about what each room in the school was used for back when it used to be a hospital. The Science Lab downstairs, that was obviously the morgue, and Rachel Hecht’s office, this was most definitely the X-Ray room. These theories are most likely incorrect, but regardless they make for a great ambiance at Shalhevet.

Because of its history as a hospital, the old building has also made for a perfect place to scare new students. Taking a stroll in school can sometimes be scary when no other students are around. Taking a stroll in the school after 7 p.m. is just plain terrifying.

The “secret stairwell,” the “lonely hallway,” the (literal) “morgue” — these are all places that will be knocked down.

Some teachers know even more.  Mr. Feld remembers when his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Feld, taught kindergarten in what’s now Room 1. Ms. Crincoli taught middle school nearby, and so did Morah Michal. Mrs. Keene can show you four different spaces, including Mr. Frankel’s office, that at one time or another housed the Boiling Point.

These are just some of the things that we won’t be able to do with the new building.

We have spent so long in these hallways making this school our own. It was quite clear that last year’s juniors owned the hallway space right next to Mrs. Keene’s room, and the outside yard belonged to the freshmen. Just where will our next homes be? It’s a shame that students will need to find new places to ditch class in, new places to hang out and, of course, new places to study.

It’s bitterest and least sweet for my grade, soon to be seniors, who will not be able to witness the new building in action (unless we come visit the school later on!), When we return this fall, half of our building will be off limits, and then — presumably soon — it will be gone. Forever.

I get it, it’s part of this whole rebuilding the future of Shalhevet thing. But cockroaches, non-working alarms, hideous carpet and all, I don’t think I’m ready to let this building go.

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