Fixing the nets in the Memorial Field House
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In this photograph two men are working in the basketball court of Springfield College's Memorial Field House. One man with glasses is standing on the ground next to a ladder to keep it steady and another man is on the top of the ladder working on the nets of the gymnasium area. The Memorial Field House was originally used as a basic training facility by the US Navy at Sampson, New York. In 1946, Springfield College qualified for the drill hall through Public Law 697, a law that distributed war time surplus for civilian use, and the government disassembled and transported the building to Springfield College. The field house was opened on February 21, 1948. On that day the first basketball game was held in the new arena, with Springfield College playing Providence College. William R. Chase, a member of the first group of men to play basketball in 1891, tossed the ceremonial first ball. The building was 120 feet wide and 420 feet in length, and was divided into three sections: the Gymnasium area, the Arena area, and the Class and Game Room area. The Gymnasium area is 140 x 80 feet of permanent maple flooring and could accommodate 5 volleyball, or 9 badminton, or 3 basketball courts, or some combination of the three courts. Separate showers and locker rooms for 4 visiting teams were in this area. The Arena area comprises 230 feet of open earth surface for field events including space for its removable hardwood floor and had the ability up to accommodate 4000 spectators at public events and basketball games, the seating for Basketball games was around 2500. The Class and Game Room area has spaces for offices and temporary classrooms which could also be converted to specialized game rooms for boxing, wrestling, fencing, and calisthenics. There was also a garage that was converted into 6 handball courts. The building was demolished in 1979 due to the fact that the wood arch could not meet minimum building code requirements. A new Physical Education Complex replaced the Memorial Field House, and was formally dedicated on October 30, 1981.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
Memorial Field House
International Young Men's Christian Association College
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