Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


McCain Student Center

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Institution Name: Albertson College of Idaho
Original/Historic Place Name: Kirkpatrick Gymnasium
Location on Campus: 2112 Cleveland Blvd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1941original design Hummel & Hummel
1962addition Hummel & Hummel
1999remodeled Hummel Architects
Designer: Hummel & Hummel (Boise, ID); Hummel Architects (Boise, ID)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII, Postmodern, Other (Glossary)
Significance: education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: concrete
Roof: built up
1941-1991academic department building (physical education)
1962-1970academic department building (biology department, laboratory, and office space)
1999-present (2006)other (bookstore)
1999-present (2006)administration (offices, campus mail center)
1999-present (2006)theater (Eros theater)
1999-present (2006)student union (McCain Student Center: student senate chambers; offices of elected student body officers; student publications; game rooms; snack bar)

The original Kirkpatrick Gymnasium was a no-frills building with a basketball court and bleachers and a seating capacity of about 700. The lower of the two levels included laboratories and storage rooms for the Biology Department. The addition of 1962 was another no-frills endeavor ($48,000) that provided approximately 1500 square feet of additional classroom, laboratory, and office space for the Biology Department. In 1970 the Biology Department departed for the newly completed William Judson Boone Science Hall, leaving space for an expanded Physical Education Department and intramurals program. (By the mid-1960s varsity basketball games were moved to the O'Connor Field House, owned by the City of Caldwell.) The PE Department remained in Kirkpatrick Gymnasium until 1991, the year the J. A. Albertson Activities Center was opened. From 1991 to 1998, Kirkpatrick Gym was used only intermittently until it was redesigned as the McCain Student Center.

The building has significance in both its historic and redesigned configurations. The 1941 building was named in honor of the late husband of Mary Kirkpatrick of Parma, E. M. Kirkpatrick, a successful businessman who died in 1916. In 1909, Mary and E. M. Kirkpatrick had donated the funds needed to build Sterry Hall as a memorial to Mary's late father, Christopher Sterry. The same architectural firm, Hummel Architects of Boise, executed both the original design and subsequent remodeling projects. The floor space of the new design totals 20,400 square feet on three levels. The hardwood flooring from the original basketball court was incorporated into the renovation, as were other design motifs. The lines of the original structure are clearly evident. The renovation included the addition of an entrance and adjoining plaza that serve to connect the new student center with the central campus, creating a new focus for campus life.


Attebery, Louie W. Albertson College of Idaho: The Second Hundred Years. Caldwell, ID: Albertson College of Idaho, 1999.

Attebery, Louie W. The College of Idaho 1891-1991: A Centennial History. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Publishers, 1991.

Lowell, Helen and Lucile Peterson. Our First Hundred Years: a Biography of Lower Boise Valley, 1814-1914. Caldwell: Caxton Printers, 1976.


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Last update: November 2006