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Historic Quad tunnels set to reopen in 2018

Historic Quad Tunnels

SUMMARY: The historic Quad tunnels will be reinstated for public use in 2018.

UPDATE: April Fools!

Beneath the Quadrangle on James Madison University’s campus lies the legendary “Quad tunnels.” In the beginning years of the university, students were able to use these tunnels to move from building to building on the Quad. 

Thanks to advocates on campus, JMU is now planning to reopen the tunnels in 2018, one year from today. This will be beneficial during days of inclement weather so that students can get to classes without being affected by rain or snow, but that is not the main concern. According to Bill Wyatt, JMU Spokesperson, “Most people would say that we’re doing this so students could avoid the inclement weather. But really, have you tried to get from one side of the Quad to the other on a gorgeous spring day? We’ve had just one too many Frisbee accidents. So, we’re going to give folks the option to avoid it all by going underground.”

The original tunnels, about 20 feet wide with 15-foot ceilings, connected the campus’ first two buildings -- then known as Dormitory No. 1 and Science Hall, today known as Jackson Hall and Maury Hall. This tunnel, along with many others that are being renovated, will give students access to buildings all across the Quad, including Carrier Library.

President Alger notes that though there are many myths surrounding the tunnels, he is glad students will now have an opportunity to “enjoy more of the history surrounding our university.”

Blueprints of renovated tunnel layout.

One year from today, the historic Quad tunnels will be reinstated for public use. Shirley Underwood, a JMU Historian, says, "After the reopening of the original Carrier Library entrance, we couldn’t be more excited about the opening of the historic Quad tunnels. From the dirt floors, to the low ceilings and limited lighting, we’re planning to keep the tunnels in their original form."

For a rendering of what the tunnels will look like, click here.


Published: Friday, March 31, 2017

Last Updated: Saturday, October 20, 2018

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