Skip Navigation

I am sorry to report that the Nat is not. It was shut down in fall 2020 and torn down not long after. But fear not: the UW campus will soon replace the missing gym and pool. A new facility — the Bakke Recreation and Wellbeing Center — is scheduled to open on the same site in 2023. The original Nat was at first given the prosaic name Gym Unit I. (Unit II was an expansion of the Nat, and III was the SERF.) It featured swimming pools, so when it opened in 1963, people called it the Natatorium, from the Latin verb natare, meaning to swim. Six decades later, the building was aging poorly and out of date. The new Bakke (pronounced BAH-key) will have not only a pool and basketball courts but an ice rink, a well-being suite, a teaching kitchen, an indoor jogging track, and a studio-in-the-round with windows that frost at the push of a button to give exercisers privacy. You can follow construction online.

More From Ask Flamingle HQ

Voting is open! Help choose the new design for The Red Shirt before 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 26. Vote now!