Cathedral Prep has been around for almost 100 years now, but there are still many secrets within the school. One big thing that many students, alumni, and staff of Cathedral Prep are not aware of is a secret floor, the “fifth floor.”
Just like any building with a pitched roof, Cathedral Prep has an attic above the fourth floor that most people are not aware of (AKA the fifth floor). With questions and rumors circulating about this mystery floor at Prep, seniors Dusty Burch and David Estes (the writers of this article) looked to investigate.
Having never been up to the supposed “fifth floor,” and only ever hearing rumors about it, we wanted to do some background research before investigating and exploring. Even Mr. Pituch, Prep and Villa’s vice president, was in the dark on this topic, claiming that there were only four floors at Prep. If the vice president of the school had never even heard of it, how many others were also left in the dark? To find out, we decided to talk to a few alumni, all from different times at Prep, about the topic of the fifth floor, and they all had similar reactions.
Paul Held, class of 1985, says that he “doesn’t recall ever even hearing about a fifth floor” when he was at Prep.
Pat Grab, class of 2005, was asked if he ever went up to the hidden floor and he responded, “Fifth floor? I thought there were only four floors at Prep.”
Nate Estes, class of 2013, was also in denial as he claimed, “There’s no fifth floor. Someone definitely created that rumor for attention.”
These reactions supported our initial suspicions, and we knew that we had to check out the fifth floor. After hearing countless rumors since freshman year, as members of The Rambler we were given permission to check it out to shed light onto this mystery. We discovered that there are two points of entry that we used to access to the fifth floor.
The first part of the fifth floor that we checked out is through a closet on the fourth floor. To get up to it we had to scale a wall that was about 12-feet tall. Once we were up there, there was a lot to explore. There was a lot of proof that people had been up there before us, as there were many things left behind. Items included old vinyl records which were used to help teach students foreign languages and books, both new and old, and there was also some trash, too.
We walked around the loft, and there was not too much to see besides the bare bones of the building, including pipes, insulation, rafters, electrical work, and air conditioning vents. As we walked around the fifth floor we came across a fan that looked into the library. It looked as though it was there to keep airflow in the library. We looked out through the fan and there was a direct view down into the library, where we could see a bunch of students in study hall. As we walked around, we found a wooden ladder connected to a wall that allowed us to climb back down to the fourth floor.
The next part of the fifth floor that we explored was a room above one of the rooms on the fourth floor. To access it, we had to move a ceiling tile that had a ladder which allowed us to climb up. This room did not have very much in it besides rafters and other things to do maintenance in if required. The cool thing about this room was all of the signatures throughout it. There were many signatures from past and present students who have climbed up there to check it out. This shows that there are people who know about the fifth floor, even if it was only a select few.
While the fifth floor did not have as much to explore as we had hoped, it was still a lot of fun to check out, and was an experience that we will never forget. Many people had doubts that the fifth floor existed, but we were able to prove that it is more than just a rumor.