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210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279

News Release

For immediate use

Sept. 28, 2004 -- No. 459

Renovated Woollen Gym opens Oct. 6
with greats who played there participating

CHAPEL HILL -- Basketball fans can now own a piece of Tar Heel sports history -- a section of the maple floor from the old Woollen Gym at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Thatís the facility built in 1937 that hosted the universityís basketball program until 1965, where the undefeated 1957 NCAA menís championship team practiced and played, and where Michael Jordan and other Tar Heel NBA stars have returned for informal pick-up games over the years.

The department of exercise and sport science invites the public to the Oct. 6 grand opening of the newly renovated Woollen Gymnasium, where fans can buy framed pieces of the historic floor and get them signed by the five starters from the í57 team who will be on hand -- Pete Brennan, Bob Cunningham, Tommy Kearns, Joe Quigg and Lennie Rosenbluth.

The opening ceremony Ė to be emceed by the 34-year voice of the Tar Heels, Woody Durham -- is free and open to the public. It begins at 11:30 a.m. in the gym, which is located on South Road at Raleigh Street, adjacent to Carmichael Auditorium. Free parking will be available at the Highway 54 visitorís lot at the corner of South Road and Country Club Drive.

A limited number of sections of the historic floor are available as plaques in three designs for $75, $150 and $250, the last of which includes a photo of the 1957 team with signatures engraved in brass. Purchases may be made at the opening ceremony or on-line at (To ensure availability of preferred plaque design, pre-ordering online is recommended. Plaques may be picked up at the ceremony.) One-third of the proceeds from the sale are being donated to the Department of Exercise and Sport Science Endowment Fund.

Woollen Gym was closed May 20 for renovations to the gym, classrooms and infrastructure, made possible by $516,500 in state bond revenues. The renovated gym features a new 35,000 square-foot maple floor, new backboards, lighting, furnishings and other improvements. The gym will continue to be used for physical education classes and free play.

Named for the late University comptroller Charles T. Woollen (Class of 1905), the facility was built in 1937 for the then department of physical education. In addition to the menís gym, the building housed physical education classes, handball courts, a swimming pool, and later a womenís gym and dance studio. The menís gym served as the practice and game site for the basketball teams until 1965 when Carmichael Auditorium opened. The basketball program moved again in 1986 when the Dean E. Smith Center was completed.


1957 NCAA champion Tar Heels photo link:

[Caption: Pictured with Coach Frank McGuire are starters, from left: Joe Quigg, Pete Brennan and Lennie Rosenbluth; kneeling from left: Bob Cunningham and Tommy Kearns.]

Note: Lennie Rosenbluth is available to do media interviews and can be reached at (305) 254-0049.

Department of exercise and sport science contacts: Maura Murphy, (919) 962-5172, and Ronald Hyatt, (919) 962-1009

College of Arts & Sciences contact: Dee Reid, (919) 843-6339