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Christenbury Memorial Gymnasium

Building History
Other Names: Memorial Health and Physical Education Building
Memorial GymnasiumChristenbury Gymnasium
Date Built: 1952
Date Razed:
Cost of Construction: $722,000
Gross Square Feet: 52,701
Assignable Square Feet: 38,294
Architects: Eric G. Flannagan

Namesake: John B. Christenbury (1907-1944) Statesville native, was a football coach and phsyical education instructor at East Carolina from 1940-1943. He was educated at Davidson College and went on to receive an MA from Columbia University in 1934.

Excerpt from unidentified Asheville newspaper article entitled, "Christenbury Named Coach at Brevard," March 13, 1938:

    Christenbury, a native of Statesville was an outstanding athlete at Davidson college, taking part in three major sports. While at Davidson he was known as one of the best wrestlers that had ever taken part in Southern conference matches for the Presbyterian school.He was a member of the baseball team 3 years. He graduated in 1930.

    After leaving Davidson he accepted a position at Altamont Consolidated high school, Crossnore as athletic director. He remained there three years having successful season in all sports offered at the school.

    He left the Crossnore post in the fall of 1934 to accept a job as athletic director at the Bolles Military and Naval Training School at Jacksonville, Florida. He remained at thsi post until the fall of 1937 when he accpeted the head coaching job at Asheville high school.

He came to ECTC in 1940 and his 1941 team wentundefeated and is still ECU's best winning record7-0-0. In his two years, ECU recorded 15 wins and 12losses. This gave him a .800 percent win record, best of all ECU coaches. On July 1, 1944, Mr. Christenbury was killed in an explosion at Port Chicago, California. The Gymnasium was dedicated January 6, 1953, to John B. Christenbury and to alumni who had died in World War II while serving in the U.S. Army.

History: Construction of the health and physical education building began during the summer of 1952 on land that had been used as the Dining Hall's vegetable garden. The building opened for classes July 11, 1952. Much needed space for the work of the health and physical education department was provided, and equipmentwas both excellent and up-to-date. The gym was used for men's and women's basketball until 1994 when Minges was expanded. It is currently used for intramural sports and campus recreation activities.

The brick structure houses a large 188 x 101 foot gym with a seating capacity for approximately 2400 people. The swimming pool, which is 75 x 35 feet, was the first pool constructed on campus. The building also houses offices, weight rooms, classrooms, locker rooms, anda basement dance studio.

The ECU Board of Trustees dedicated the building in 1953 as Christenbury Memorial Gymnasium, but noofficial action was ever recorded in the Board'sminutes. It was re-dedicated in 1989 as the John B. Christenbury Memorial Gymnasium.

Additions:
    1970 - Archeology lab created in basement
    1985 - completely resurfaced gym floor and paintedceiling and walls
    1989 - roof repairs
    1999 - basement modifications

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