The PE Complex at Springfield College was built to replace the Memorial Field House, which was demolished due to structural problems in May, 1979. At the time, the facility was the largest construction project in the college’s history. The PE Complex consisted of four distinct facilities: the Art Linkletter Natatorium, a graceful steel arch roof structure with an Olympic-sized pool, a part of the college since its official dedication on October 21, 1967; Blake Arena, a massive three-story dome measuring 180 feet in diameter and extending 44 feet above the playing surface that is still used as the main venue for basketball and volleyball among other activities; the Winston Paul Academic Center that includes two teaching gymnasiums (Dana Gymnasium and Kresge Gymnasium), a wrestling room (Douglas Parker Wrestling Room), and eight handball/ racquetball courts): and the Keith Locker and Training Facility. The Art Linkletter Natatorium, which originally opened in 1967, was connected to the other structures by a 95-foot “skywalk.” The total combined space of the PE Complex was 143,000 square feet. The $5.3 million building was funded by the Capital Campaign headed by Art Linkletter. The PE Complex was primarily an educational facility where students took classes in Physical Education, Sports Medicine, and Health Fitness in order to prepare them for “human helping professions,” such as YMCA executives, athletic trainers, and coaches. The PE Complex is now part of the new Wellness and Recreation Complex that was opened in 2008. The Wellness and Recreation Complex includes the Wellness Center, Field House, and Athletic Training/ Exercise Science facility, accounting for an additional 160,560 square feet of instructional, athletic, and recreational space.
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