Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Old Gym

One of the older buildings on campus is the Student Activities Center. The SAC, as it is known, was formerly BW’s gymnasium. The 1914-15 Baldwin-Wallace Catalog provides an informative description of the structure:

“The Gymnasium which is a building of exceptional beauty, was erected in 1911-12. It is built of Berea sandstone, and is thoroughly adequate in its proportions and appointments for systematic physical training. The plans for the building were completed after a thorough study of some of the best gymnasium buildings in the country.
In the basement are a baseball cage, a room for visiting teams, locker rooms, and bath-rooms with the most improved showers. On the first floor are offices and the main gymnasium floor, fifty-two by eighty-six feet. The gymnasium is completely equipped with all modern forms of apparatus for heavy gymnastics and special work. On the next floor is a running track and visitor’s gallery.” 

Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool Exterior
During World War II, a requirement of hosting a V-12 unit was that BW would need to build a swimming pool for the men to train. The pool was quickly constructed and added to the rear of the gym. If you look at the back of the SAC, you can still see the arch “scar” on the building.
Eventually the building became outdated and too small to hold athletic events.  In the 1977-78 catalog, the gym was described in the Athletics section as, “”The Women’s Gymnasium, which houses facilities for women students and the Baldwin-Wallace Swimming pool.”

 The gym was converted to the Student Activity Center and dedicated in 1990. For more information about the SAC, please visit: http://www.bw.edu/stulife/union/sac/
Gym Class