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gymnasia are located as to the higher standard of cleanliness and physical alertness which is apparent among a large proportion of the children and young people. The success of the department's work has led to the introduction of baths and gymnasia in the recently built public schools; and during the past winter the gymnasium facilities of the city have been considerably increased by the opening of the school gymnasia in the evening, in connection with the evening schools and the newly established educational centres.
One definite form of service rendered to the municipality by the department is that of training an increasing number of young men for the physical examinations required for appointment to the police and fire department forces. Since the municipal gymnasia began to provide such training the physical pass standard for these appointments has gone up more than fifteen per cent.
The floating baths, as usual, have been well used during the summer. The members of the board feel that these baths render a very important service, and are very desirous of providing several new structures to take the place of those which are almost entirely unfit for use. It is a matter of much regret to us that this part of the public bathing system, which dates back so many years, should not be more fully on a par with the other work of the department, especially as the cost of providing floating baths is comparatively so little. It is a matter of some consequence that the floating baths which are attached to the bridges should be of a character such as to be attractive to passers by, as well as inviting to those who might make use of them.
The beaches at North End park, Wood Island park and L street were all well patronized during the summer. It is a source of special satisfaction to the members of the board that the careful precautions taken at the beaches to prevent accident have been so effectual. Since the establishment of the department there has not been a single life lost from drowning. The usual number of instructors in swimming have been provided. In all cases there are separate parts of the beach for men and women. At L street there are three sections, each entirely shut off by itself. In the womens’ section of the beach special provision has been made for the recreation of little children who come with their mothers. Small shovels and pails are provided for them, and they find much enjoyment in digging in the sand. An appropriation of $2,000 was made during the past year for the purpose of adding about 100 new closets for women and girls. In the men's section a small glass sun house has been put up, and is of special advantage on cool days. The dredging of the beach so as to provide swimming at all hours independently of tide has greatly enlarged the usefulness of the place.
CABOT-STREET GYMNASIUM AND BATHS.
This building will be the most complete and important under the care of the department, including an ample supply of shower baths, a swimming tank, and a large, finely equipped gymnasium. The ground area will be 52 by 142 feet; the swimming tank-room will be 33 by 85 feet, the tank itself being 25 by 75 feet. The water in the tank will vary from 3 to 6 feet in depth, and will be kept at a temperature of 70 degrees during the winter. A number of devices suggested by experience will be used in order to secure the greatest possible economy in the water-supply consistent with strict cleanliness. The full supply of water will be renewed once a day, but the top will be drawn off frequently during the day. All swimmers will be required to take a shower bath before entering the tank.
The gymnasium will have an area of 40 by 80 feet, and will be equipped with a running-track, hand ball and basket ball court, and a full variety of gymnastic apparatus. In planning the building careful study has been given to the problem of reducing the expenses of maintenance to the lowest possible point. The building can easily accommodate 1,500 people a day on the average, and it is expected that on many days there will be an attendance of 2,000.
The past year's work at the gymnasia has been on the whole more satisfactory than that of any previous year. The instruction is under the general direction of a man of large experience in such work, who has been able to organize and systematize the class-work of all the gymnasia and to set a high standard for the local instructors. The membership in all the classes has kept up exceedingly well. About 7,000 persons each week receive instruction in the city gymnasia.
Beside the regular class-work, the gymnasia are used to some extent for certain forms of out-door sports, such as basket ball and hand ball. It is the policy of the department not to allow athletic contests of this sort to take an undue place in the work of the gymnasia. We seek to develop not the expert but the average well rounded man and woman. Yet, without doubt, a certain amount of the element of competition is a healthful stimulant to the spectator as well as the participant. Public exhibitions of classwork have been given during the year, particularly at the South Boston Gymnasium. *
Each applicant for the privileges of the gymnasia is carefully examined by a physician. In many cases special sorts of exercise are recommended in order to remedy some weakness or physical defect. At some of the gymnasia careful measurements are made from time to time of members of the classes, and the personal results gained by the gymnasium work are thus accurately estimated. .
COLUMBIA. ROAD GYMNASIUM, WARD 16.
This gymnasium is included in the new municipal building on Columbia road, Ward 16, which is to be opened early in 1904. The building also provides for a readingroom and a branch of the Public Library. The gymnasium has a floor space of 96 by 48 feet, an overhead running track of 25 laps to the mile. There is a swimming tank in the basement in the form of a Greek cross 39 by 34 feet, built of white marble. Off the tank-room there are six shower baths. Every one using the swimming tank will be required to take a shower bath in advance. There is an ample supply of lockers for men and dressing rooms for women, and abundant provision is made for those who wish to take shower baths without entering the swimming tank. This gymnasium and bath will be more and more serviceable in that district of the city, as the population is steadily on the increase. &
The Dover-street bath-house has sustained its encouraging record of usefulness. The building is used by more than 1,000 bathers on an average every day in the year. The building is open from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. on week days; on Sundays the doors are opened at 6 o'clock in the morning, and remain open until 10 o’clock in the evening. The facilities of the building are used by people from all parts of the city—people of all classes and all nationalities. The increase