During the start of World War II, Springfield College served as training grounds for the Army Air Corps, which allotted the college $90,000 for upgrading facilities. In the spring of 1944, the training program was canceled; in order to conserve its assets for expanded postwar operations in the face of decreasing student enrollment, Springfield College negotiated a contract with the U.S. Navy to serve as a Naval Special Hospital. The Navy allotted $75,000 to bring the college up to the mark of a naval hospital, and the first contingent of one hundred and fifty patients arrived on September 22, 1944, and it was estimated that five hundred patients could be served. Alumni Hall was used as the hospital, and the old dormitory (now called the Administration Building) became administrative offices and housing for nurses and WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Judd Gymnasia was the first building erected on the newly purchased land along Massasoit Lake and formally opened on October 26, 1894. In 1912, an additional gymnasium was completed; in the spring of the following year, the McCurdy Pool, a gift of Herbert Pratt, opened. The newly built Linkletter Natatorium replaced the pool, which permanently closed on March 18, 1968. The building’s top two floors (located between the east and west gymnasia) were not completed until June 1926. In 2012, the entire building was renovated. Through the years, the building’s name has changed several times: West Gymnasium (1910-1953), Judd Gymnasium (1953-1998), Ruth Evans Gymnasium (1998-2010), and the Student Union West (2010-present).
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