Historic Tour - Title Banner
Eastern Michigan University EMU HOME
About EMUFuture StudentsCurrent StudentsAcademics & ResearchFaculty & StaffAlumni & FriendsAthletics & RecreationNews & Events




Home page

Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
University Information:
(734) 487-1849


Virtual Tour
Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center

Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center

Historical Name(s): Lloyd W. Olds Rec/IM (1982-93), Olds-Robb Student Recreation-Intramural Complex

Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center

Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center

Date Constructed: Dedicated October 16, 1982

Architect: Ralph Calder and Associates, Detroit

Style of Architecture: Post Modern/International

Original Use: Recreation Center

Dates of Renovation: 1991 added an aerobics studio, second weight-lifting room, a new wrestling/combative room, and courtside food concessions.

Current Use: Recreation Center


The Old Gymnasium

The old gymnasium demolished in 1965
Olds/Robb Student Recreational/Intramural Complex was first named for Lloyd W. Olds. Olds graduated from Eastern in 1916 and completed a PhD. in public health at the University of Michigan. Returning to his alma mater under the direction of Professor Wilbur Bowen (see Bowen Field House), he joined the Department of Physical Education and coached EMU’s track team from 1921-42, during which time the team won 85% of their meets. He also founded EMU’s intramural program. During the 1920s, EMU earned praise for having one of the most extensive intramural programs in the Midwest. Olds also served as the head of the Department of Physical Education from 1956-63. On a national level he served as an associate track and field coach for the 1932 Olympic games and as an Olympic track manager in 1948 and invented the striped referee’s shirt that is universally worn today.

Student tuition and bond sales paid for the $16.25 million construction of the

Rec/IM Aerobics Studio

Rec/IM Aerobics Studio
Rec/IM Pro Shop

Rec/IM Pro Shop
building. When it was built, the building contained the largest indoor swimming pool in the state. The pool varied between 3 to 17 feet in depth. The old varsity pool was converted into a club pool with a sauna facility connected. Today, the building serves about 500,000 people each year and offers swimming, racquetball, volleyball, basketball, aerobics, billiards, table tennis, free weights, and other fitness machines. On the third floor is a gymnasium able to accommodate four basketball courts or twelve volleyball or badminton courts. Viewers can see it from the fourth floor track that runs around the perimeter of the room.

The Olds was remodeled in 1991 with money primarily from Pro Shop and aerobics program revenue. These renovations included adding an aerobics studio, a second weight room, a new wrestling/combative room, courtside food concessions, and an improved and integrated Pro Shop. The following year, construction began on an Outdoor Recreational Facility (see Pond and Lake House). In 1993, the building was renamed the Olds-Robb Student Recreation-Intramural Complex to acknowledge the name of Richard Robb, a member of the Board of Regents (1967-1992) who had long supported the Rec/IM, and to include the new outdoor recreational facility (see Pond and Lake House).

Location - Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center


Location of Olds/Robb Student Recreation Center (Click on the image for a bigger view)