With the construction of a second field house on Ferry Field, provision for intramural sports was made for the entire student body. Just as the neighboring Yost Field House provides for intercollegiate athletics, the Sports Building affords ample facilities not only for the development of the individual Page 1584student but also for interclass athletics, particularly basketball, indoor tennis, squash, handball, and various forms of track athletics, boxing, wrestling, and swimming.
The building, which stands on Hoover Avenue at the north end of Ferry Field, was completed in 1928. Its construction began in 1927.
The intramural Sports Building extends for 415 feet along the street and is 110 feet wide. Thus, it is somewhat longer but not as wide as Yost Field House and is similar in architecture. It is a long brick building in Lombard Romanesque style, simple in general outline, which is, however, broken by tremendous monumental entrances on either side, extending above the general line of the roof; these divide the building into two wings, of which the shorter extends to the east. Immense arched windows give ample light for the various sports carried on in the building. Provision was made for more than four thousand lockers for the use of students and faculty.
To the left of the entrance on the first floor of the shorter wing is a large room almost 100 feet long, designed especially for boxing and wrestling. This room also contains a beautiful tiled swimming pool, 75 by 35 feet, completely equipped with adjacent lockers and showers. The longer wing at the west is taken up on the first floor by fourteen handball courts and thirteen squash courts. On the second, or main floor, the central section is occupied by the administrative offices of the Department of Intramural Athletics. A completely equipped auxiliary gymnasium on the east side was designed for faculty use. The wall between this room and the room which houses the swimming pool can be raised for swimming meets, permitting the installation of seats for as many as 960 spectators. A vast gymnasium 252 feet long, large enough for four basketball courts, occupies the full length of the west wing. A special feature is the floor of heavy maple laid over an underfloor of two by sixes. The building is effectively soundproofed. It was designed by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, of Detroit, and the Palmer Construction Co. held the contract; it was completed at a cost of more than $743,000.