For about a year and a half, the future Babson Recreation and Athletics Complex (BRAC) has been slowly rising on College Drive, from a steel frame to an enclosed building to its near-completed state.
In just a month’s time, the project will be finished and will unofficially open for the arrival of student-athletes for the 2019–2020 academic year.
“With a building like this, we’re going to move from a small fitness and rec operation to a sizable private gym-quality facility,” said Larry Ward, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “It will be the type of facility where students will want to work out in.”
“It’s already rewarding to see the state of things and what it’s going to be able to offer,” said David Grissino, director of capital projects. “It takes a tremendous amount of effort by a lot of people to do a project like this.”
Designing of the building, which features three basketball courts, two floors of exercise spaces, and multipurpose recreational rooms, began in 2014. Plans were finalized in 2016 and construction started the following year.
“It’s been a concept for a long time, getting the idea about what it would be took a little work,” Grissino said.
The addition will double the size of overall complex to about 175,000 square feet, and will address what Grissino said are critical needs of students as part of the College’s health and wellness initiatives.
“To be able to have opportunities for our students to do things outside of class, intramural sports, pickup games, coming to use the fitness area … it was a big missing piece,” he said.
Varsity athletes will now have their own locker rooms and an improved sports medicine area, while athletic administration will be housed in new offices.
With weeks to go, crews are putting finishing touches on spaces, and working to complete mechanical and landscaping work. A grand opening is scheduled for shortly after Labor Day.