Buildings and Grounds 205
This was the situation when the Trustees, in June, 1900, ordered the
erection of a new Gymnasium at a cost of
$12,000.30
The new building was located 100 feet to the north of the old
College Building., was of brick and its main floor was 80 feet by 50
feet. In front was a projection 48 feet long by 22 feet deep, through
which was the entrance to the main floor. On either side of the
passage from the entrance to the main floor were offices. In front of
the projection was a porch ten feet deep and approached by ten steps
buttressed at the ends. Its gable was supported by plastered columns,
with an entablature of a modified Doric order, and a frieze which
extended all around the building. The floor of the main room was of
the same excellent riff pine as was used in the floors of the remodeled
old College Building. In a few years after the introduction of
basketball the main floor was provided with a narrow gallery for
spectators. In the basement were baths and toilets and dressing rooms,
but portions of it were used for many other purposes, among them as
a dissecting room for the School of Medicine. Mr. John B. Brewer, a
member of the Board of Trustees, at that time resident in Wake
Forest, supervised the construction. The corner stone shows the date
of August 11, 1900. It was finished and occupied late in the spring of
1901.31
Soon after the erection of the Lea Laboratory the need for a
――――――――――
30 Sikes, l.c. "In 1898 the old Society Halls on the top floor of the Dormitory were
converted into one room and used as a gymnasium. They were very poorly suited
for the purpose. A gymnasium building was needed, but the funds were not
available. However, in 1900 the authorities felt compelled to improve the water
facilities for the College. So pressing was the need that delay was not possible. A
determined effort was made to secure a gymnasium along with the water supply.
The Trustees were doubtful of the wisdom of so large an expenditure. It has been
reported that the motion to construct a gymnasium with adequate water facilities
resulted in a tie vote. Good old Dr. Skinner, genial, lovable, and still young, was in
the Chair. He cast the deciding vote, saying as he did so, I will vote with the boys.’
The construction of the Gymnasium began at once and the building was ready for
occupation the next year. The largest contributor to its construction was Mrs. D. W.
Alderman of Alcolu, S. C., who gave $500.”
31
Wake Forest Student, 20, 604, May, 1901: "Wonder of wonders! The
Gymnasium is at last complete. Much of the apparatus has been received and
placed; and although some is yet to come, the gymnasium is being opened regularly
and the attendance is good. However, the baths seem to be the most popular part of
the new building."
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