An ambitious construction project is now underway that will transform Babson’s fitness and recreation facilities. “It is the largest facilities investment in student and campus life in the College’s history,” says Lawrence Ward, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.
The Babson Recreation and Athletics Center construction will bring needed renovations to the Webster Center and create a 75,000-square-foot addition along College Drive. A groundbreaking ceremony for BRAC was held in September, and work is expected to be done by fall 2019. The project will nearly double the size of Babson’s recreation and fitness space.
Ward says the upgrade in facilities is overdue. The non-climate-controlled Webster Center opened almost 30 years ago and comes up short when compared with sports centers at other schools that prospective students may be applying to. “Our facilities are dated,” Ward says. “They are not up to par.” BRAC also is needed considering how much time students spend on campus. This is their home, and they need a place to unwind and relieve stress. “Healthy body, healthy mind leads to a healthier entrepreneur,” Ward says.
The new facility will occupy the previous location of the tennis courts and Peavey Hall, which housed the varsity weight room. (Eight new tennis courts are being constructed behind Van Winkle Hall.) BRAC will include a two-story fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; two multipurpose studio rooms for yoga and aerobics; dedicated varsity locker rooms and an expanded sports medicine area; and a recreation space with three courts for pickup basketball or volleyball that also will be used to host large-scale College events.
Ward adds that the building’s classic brick-and-window facade will make for a striking addition to campus. “As you move west along College Drive, you will really feel a new sense of energy,” he says. “It will dramatically transform that end of campus.”—John Crawford