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Half Acre Gym
Half Acre Gym

Built: 1925

Currently houses: Campus Recreation

History

Built with funds from oil royalties earned on university-owned land, the gym replaced the “Little Gym” that was located behind Old Main. A state-of-the-art facility for its time, the building was home court for the UW basketball team of 1943 that won the NCAA national championship. On the floor in this building, Kenny Sailors perfected the jump shot he had invented on his family’s farm near Hilsdale, Wyoming, in the 1930s. halfacre

In 1931, the Engineers’ Ball, an annual event held in the Half Acre Gym, led to a short-lived student strike. The strike was called Dec. 4, 1931, to protest the activities of President Arthur Crane during and after the Ball. The president left the dance, walked outside and went from car to car in the parking areas while brandishing a flashlight to determine whether any “hanky-panky” was occurring in the vehicles. He told some students, “You come out here for all your drinking and petting. You ought to go to First Street where you belong.”  His “moral crusade” apparently failed, but so did the strike. Crane called in police and the students returned to classes two days later. After the incident, Crane apparently stayed away from darkened parking lots.

Half Acre is currently undergoing a historic $27 million renovation. The new updated gym will provide student an outlet with state-of-the-art facilities to have fun and get in shape. The funding was provided by the Wyoming legislature and ASUW fees.

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