The final and most comprehensive of the College’s four capital projects has opened its doors.
From its Olympic lifting platforms outfitted with the Babson athletics logo to its array of cardio equipment and multipurpose courts, the newly completed Babson Recreation and Athletics Complex (BRAC) will help prompt community building, serving as a destination for students to pursue health and wellness initiatives, and as a programming space for a myriad of events.
BRAC was celebrated in a grand opening and ribbon cutting Thursday with many College officials on hand. Babson’s three other capital projects, Weissman Foundry, Kerry Murphy Healey Park, and Babson Commons at Horn Library, were completed last academic year.
A Community’s Complex
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Larry Ward, the executive sponsor of project, said the facility is the largest single capital investment in student and campus life in the College’s history.
“It’s tempting to think of BRAC as an athletics project,” Ward said. “It will strengthen the varsity experience, but this is fundamentally an investment in the health and well-being of our general student body and campus community.”
The project added 40,000 square feet of fitness and recreation space, doubling the size of the overall complex to about 175,000 square feet. It’s highlighted by two floors of weights and cardio equipment, and also includes new offices for athletic administration and a plaza outside the facility which will serve as an outdoor programming space.
“As we start our second century, the College community is well-poised to continue its tremendous trajectory,” Ward said.
Designing for the project began in 2014 and construction started in 2017.
“This building is a perfect example of Babson’s perspective on the world,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD. “It’s not just a recreation center, a learning space, but a community space for all of our functions to create value.”
Senior Director of Athletics and Athletics Advancement Mike Lynch said the space will allow Babson to compete for the top Division III recruits in the country.
“This is a campus facility, one that’s going to help every student here at Babson have a better, richer, more transformative experience as an undergrad.”
Former trustee David Lamere ’82, the namesake of Lamere Plaza, said the College has 400 student-athletes, and an additional 1,000 students participate in club or intramural sports, representing more than half of the student body. The objective with BRAC is for that percentage to rise.
“The goal for this facility is 100 percent participation of the students and community to be involved here in some way,” he said. “It’s a space that will build community.”