It was Arthur Gordon Linkletter, also known as Art Linkletter, who suggested that the college build a new swimming and diving facility. Art Linkletter was the famed entertainer best known for his TV series "House Party" that ran on CBS from 1952 to 1969. Art Linkletter believed so much in the project that he sold his house for $250,000 and donated the money to the project. Another $250,000 was raised by the student “Work Week” in 1967, where students worked jobs such as trimming hedges or moving telephone poles for donations. Other money was supplied by a federal grant, alumni gifts, and friends of the college. Groundbreaking took place on April 30, 1966. The natatorium had steel arches rising to 45 ft at their peaks. The pool was 169'1'' long and 44' wide, and was 4' deep at the south end and 12'6'' deep at the deep end. With a movable bulkhead that could shorten and lengthen the pool, it was the longest indoor collegiate pool in the Eastern US at that time. The Olympic-sized pool had permanent bleachers that could seat 490 spectators and roll-out bleachers that could seat 510. There were two classrooms with underwater picture windows that allowed coaches and instructors to observe the swimmers. Underwater speakers allowed them to correct swimming technique as they were swimming. There was also a closed circuit television system to further analyze swimming skills. The Art Linkletter Natatorium is still in use today as the main swimming and diving facility on campus, having been incorporated into the new Wellness and Recreation Complex that opened in 2008.
Written on the back: Matt Grimaldi. Photographer. 242 Kenmore Dr. - Longmeadow, Mass
Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law.