Mem Gym pool drained for the last time

After 82 years, the Memorial Gymnasium Pool at UVA was permenantly closed on May 2. According to Intramural-Recreational Sports spokesperson Carol Spry, the pool's basic systems were extremely outdated, and so the decision was made to convert the space into a sport court for indoor hockey, soccer, fencing and other activities. Spry says the renovations should be completed in time for the fall semester.

IM-Rec Sports director Mark Fletcher says one major reason the pool was scrapped (besides the fact that UVA has a beefy replacement at Aquatic & Fitness Center) was because it wasn't "resource friendly."

"Basically, it was like a giant bathtub," says Fletcher. "When water went into the gutters, or when the pool was drained, the water just went down the drain. In newer pools, like at the Aquatic & Fitness Center, the water is recycled. In today's age of sustainability, and because it would cost so much to convert the pool's systems, we felt this was the right thing to do."

Built in 1924 along with the gymnasium, the pool was state-of-art at the time, as was the gym itself (which cost $300,000 and was one of the biggest gyms on the East Coast), which was originally built as a memorial to UVA students and alumni who died in World War I. Since then, the gym has been home to the school's boxing, indoor track, swimming, wrestling, volley ball, and basketball teams, as well as serving as a concert venue for the likes of Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and Bruce Springsteen.

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