Virginia Street Gymnasium

The Virginia Street Gymnasium was designed in 1938 by Frederic J. DeLongchamps after it was decided that the original gymnasium was no longer large enough to accommodate the University's growing student population. Located on what was then the northern edge of campus, it was the last of a long series of University buildings designed by DeLongchamps. The symmetrical rectangular brick building has decorative elements of the Art Moderne style, the only building of this style on campus. It is located adjacent to Virginia Street behind Lincoln and White Pine Halls. The gymnasium was used as the Department of Physical Education and for athletic events until the mid-1970s, when new buildings took over these functions.

Although designed in 1938, the gymnasium was not officially completed until 1945. The intervening seven years included time spent waiting for matching government funds, and after construction began, in solving other problems. When construction was finally begun early in 1941, the projected completion date was 1942, and a cornerstone with that date was installed. World War II intervened, along with heating problems that prevented laying the flooring. In 1943-44 the unfinished gym housed Air Force cadets for the U.S. Government. The Virginia Street Gym was first used for University athletics in 1945. Upon its completion, the new gym had seats for 3,500 spectators.

What was long known as the "Old Gym" became the sole playing venue for the volleyball program in 1994 and now contains complete training facilities and renovated locker rooms. It is the home of the Lynn Bremer Study Center for student-athletes and the offices of the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC).

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Student event in the old gymnasium, 1937

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Activities in the old and "new" gyms

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