BGSU Historic Campus Tour
The Board of Trustees of the Bowling Green Normal School originally approved construction of a Men's Gymnasium in 1927 as a response to the exponentially increasing number of male students on campus who held an interest in athletics. Over time, the Men's Gym served a variety of functions in addition to its role as a center of athletics including makeshift hospital, housing for male basketball, football, and track athletes, and as barracks for military personnel. Indeed, the building did serve as the center of athletic activity on campus until the late 1970s when University administrators approved a major renovation of the building. This last renovation tied the Men's Gym to the old Women's Gymnasium creating a new complex for use by the newly created Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department, named for retired faculty member Gertrude Eppler.
Listed below are additional highlights in the history of the building:
- 1926, Board of Trustees approves plans for construction of a Men's Gymnasium.
- 1927, construction of a Men's Gymnasium completed and opened for use at a cost of $175,000 with an additional $12,000 spent on equipment. Men's Gym houses locker rooms, a washroom, a check room, a general shower room, a private suite for varsity teams, visiting team rooms, rooms for hand ball, boxing, wrestling, a gymnastics room with weights and equipment, three basketball courts, bleachers, a running track, and a dual heating system.
- 1927, building officially dedicated.
- 1928, addition to building completed for $55,000 providing physical examination rooms, offices, and classrooms.
- 1937, basketball floor and lighting improved.
- 1944, 300 military personnel live in building.
- 1946, basketball court resurfaced.
- 1954, basketball court resurfaced.
- 1955, movable bleachers installed increasing potential capacity to 2,700.
- 1975-7, Ohio Legislature approves funding for major renovation of building.
- 1979-80, $1.2 million major renovation undertaken connecting old Women's and Men's Gymnasiums forming one large complex for use by the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Complex.