This Day In Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

This Day in Bonaventure History

February 12, 1918

When St. Bonaventure University first discussed the establishment of a basketball program, one serious concern arose – the school didn’t have a basketball court. 

So the construction of the new gymnasium began in 1915. Since the new gymnasium wasn’t completed yet in 1916, the first intercollegiate basketball team at Bonaventure began play in the Olean Armory, losing 51-18 to the University at Buffalo. However, due to the war, the basketball season was cancelled in 1917 because of lack of materials. 

It was on this day that the new gymnasium was completed. The basement contained bowling alleys, a college store, bathrooms and a large swimming pool. Above the gymnasium was a floor that housed offices and trophy rooms. The new building was named in memorial of Fr. Joseph Butler.

The basketball games moved back to the Olean Armory after the lack of seating in Butler became a problem. Some games even took place at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium (the Aud, as it is known to many Western New Yorkers). Basketball games returned to the campus of Bonaventure in December 1966 with the completion of the University Center (later renamed the Reilly Center). 


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