Named for the Director of Physical Education for women at the university from 1922 to 1958, the Merle Spurrier Gymnasium opened in 1955, along with the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls. Since Sue B. was originally a women’s dormitory, Spurrier served as a women’s gymnasium and as part of a women’s center. When Sue B. was built, tunnels were opened between the residence hall and the gymnasium, providing easy, warm access for the women. Spurrier housed a 25-yard-long pool with six lanes. According to Associate Director of Athletics Jane Possee, the pool was closed down and drained when the women’s gym facilities were moved over to the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center in 1982. The pool has remained dry and closed to students ever since. After being closed, several departments at the university have utilized the large space that the pool consumes. Computer Sales has made use of the pool deck for storage of large boxes and various other extra tables and equipment. The pool deck is also a home for a significant amount of props that belong to Strong Auditorium. As a result, many odds and ends can be found poolside, such as old-fashioned television sets, couches and brooms. The actual pool itself is now home to chairs and desks that are no longer regularly used by the university. When Spurrier was an alternative exam location for large classes, these chairs were utilized and the pool was a convenient storage facility. However, exams have not been administered there often in recent years, so these chairs and desks are not made use of very often. It is interesting to note, however, that the desks on the left side of the pool are lined up very neatly, but the right side consists of an enormous pile of chairs that appear to be thrown haphazadly on top of each other.Spurrier is now used by many on- campus groups and students in different ways. A set of practice rooms are regularly utilized by students who study music or play instruments, and various gymnasium areas are often occupied by dance and athletic groups. No plans have been made to re-open the pool.
Student burnout was a big deal this past spring
After two and a half semesters of Zoom-education, UR students are ready for a change of pace. To be clear, UR students are no stranger to burnout, but it has been particularly different this past year due to the academic conditions, global pandemic, and a challenging social climate.