Bronco Gymnasium/Kinesiology Building
The Bronco Gymnasium was constructed in 1955 and opened in 1956. Constructed by Boise firm Hummel, Hummel, and Jones, it was the first Gymnasium to be named during the period when Boise State University was still Boise Junior College. In 1986, it was renamed the Human Performance Center. In 2001, it was given its current name, the Kinesiology Building, however, is still sometimes referred to as the Bronco Gymnasium. The building is located on the Eastern side of campus on Bronco Lane parallel to Albertsons Stadium. Like several other buildings constructed on the BSU campus around this period, the Bronco Gymnasium’s exterior is composed of red brick walls and white terra cotta.
Boise Junior College was founded in 1932 in association with the Episcopal Church, a relationship that lasted until 1934. In 1940, the college moved to its current location on the south bank of the Boise River. The school became Boise State College in 1965 and Boise State University in 1974.
Aesthetically, this building relates to many other buildings on campus, which is no coincidence since several of them were also designed by Frank Hummel. Hummel’s earlier buildings on the BSU campus were constructed in the Collegiate-Gothic Style. These include the first Student Union Building and the Administrative Building. To achieve this look of the Collegiate Gothic, Hummel used red brick and white terra cotta. However, he did not include stone tracery as was common. (Charles Hummel 2010)
In order to create aesthetic unity with these earlier buildings, elements of the Collegiate-Gothic style are somewhat apparent in the Bronco Gymnasium. For instance, Hummel also utilized red brick (which is laid out in a Flemish bond) and white terra cotta for the building’s exterior. However, the Bronco Gymnasium was constructed after the Collegiate-Gothic had fallen out of favor, and can more accurately be characterized as International Style.
Beyond its use as a gymnasium, the building was originally used for various events, such as dances, charity events, auctions, and pageants. What made such a variety of events possible was the facility’s rollaway and portable seating. The building also housed locker rooms with showers, dressing rooms, and classrooms, which were located on the upper level; features still used by students today!
When arriving for games, students residing on campus would enter through the west side of the building while students traveling by vehicle would park in the east lot between the gym and stadium and enter in through the doors on that side of the building. To enter a game, students would show their student activity tickets which were purchased on the east side of the building. If a student wished to bring along a guest, they could purchase a ticket for 50 cents and the guest could be seated in the student section. Different organizations within the college community contributed to the success of games held in the Bronco Gymnasium. This work included ushering, running concessions, or controlling traffic. The Pep Team and band would also meet to plant pep rallies for games. The band section was originally located on the lower west side of the gymnasium.
Today, students and guests enter through the east door to be admitted into games. The student section still remains in its original location, although the band is now located on the second level of the stands. The Bronco Gymnasium is no longer used for basketball and instead is now used now by the Women’s Volleyball program. Most recent renovations to the Bronco Gymnasium can be viewed in the links below.
Boise State University . 2017. http://boise.stateuniversity.com (accessed March 29, 2017 ).
Boise State University . Albertsons Library Digitial Collections. http://digital.boisestate.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/Gymnasium/mode/exact (accessed April 2017).
Carter, Mary. Hummel, Hummel and Jones Collection, 1939-1982. Orbis Cascade Alliance . 1995. http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv01126 (accessed March 29, 2017).
Charles Hummel, Tim Woodward, Jeanne Huff. Quintessential Boise: An Architectural Journey. Boise State University , 2010.
College, Students of Boise Junior. “BJC Round-Up.” Boise State University ScholarWorks . Jan 10, 1956. http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1280&context=student_newspapers (accessed March 29, 2017).
“Making History in Ada County .” 2007. https://adacounty.id.gov/Portals/0/HisPreServ/Doc/MakeHistBroHummel2.pdf (accessed March 29, 2017).