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Allied Health Sciences Center (RG 114)

This is a black and white photograph of the sign for the Springfield College Allied Health Sciences Center. The sign is slightly different from the current one.

Allied Health Sciences Center

From 1968-1985, the building now known as the Allied Health Sciences Center used to house the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame right on Springfield College’s campus. The Hall of Fame was originally built on the College’s campus as a private entity to honor the game of basketball created by Dr. James Naismith, a faculty member at Springfield College. The building was extremely successful and $72,000 had been collected in profits over the first year alone. In 1985 the building was reverted back to Springfield College as the Hall of Fame’s Board elected to move the museum to its current site adjacent to U.S. Interstate Highway, I-91, on the banks of the Connecticut River in downtown Springfield. This $13 million project was completed in June, 1985. The new museum was expected to be a major tourist attraction as well as to revitalize downtown Springfield.

In the 1987 report of President Frank S. Falcone, a study by Dr. Joel R. Cohen noted that 47% of Springfield’s undergraduate and graduate students were majoring in Health-Related Programs (HRPs) ranging from Physical Education and Sports Biology to Therapeutic Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. To accommodate this development, the former Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame was renovated to be the new Allied Health Sciences Center beginning in the spring of 1987, and the building was completed in September, 1988.

Springfield College President Falcone announced his plan to spend $1.6 million to renovate the former Hall of Fame into a center for integrated instruction, research, and community service. The 23,000-square-foot building would house classrooms, laboratories, offices, and a clinic for the college’s fastest growing academic programs such as Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, and Exercise Physiology. The clinic would prove to be beneficial because it would provide students the opportunity of an on-campus practicum. It would also give neighbors of the local community access to exceptional, specialized health care, as they were allowed to utilize the services of Physical Therapists and Rehabilitation Specialists. The need and efficacy of renovating the building to expand facilities in order to educate more health science professionals was supported by social and economic trends of aging demographics, the increasing costs of health care and technological advances in medicine.

The new building was dedicated on April 13, 1989. At the ceremony, leading donors were recognized, including Trustee Thomas B. Wheeler, President of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, who spoke at the dedication. Today the building houses several classrooms, the Human Anatomy Laboratory with computer stations, real cadavers, anatomical models, and dissection facilities. There is also the neuroscience laboratory, the dedicated and equipped Physical Therapy laboratory, Lite-Gait partial weight bearing system, motion analysis equipment, multi-channel electromyography, and occupational therapy laboratory with adapted kitchen and bathroom.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents Allied Health Sciences Center, opened in 1989 after the building was renovated from the Basketball Hall of Fame building. The collection contains photographs of models of the proposed renovations, construction, including two series of slides from March 1988 and June 1988, and the interior and exterior of the building. In addition, there are copies of the floor plans, articles about the building, including an article written in the Report of the President from 1987, and dedication programs from the ceremonies held in April, 1989.