BABSON PARK, Mass.—Following years of planning, the College unveiled the largest and most highly anticipated piece of the Babson Recreation and Athletics Complex (BRAC) on Tuesday morning when the new recreation and fitness spaces, Babson RecFit, officially opened to the public.
"This is a momentous occasion for the Babson community," commented Babson Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Lawrence P. Ward. "The BRAC project represents the largest investment in student and campus life in the College's history and I could not be more delighted and thrilled for what the opening of this new facility means for our campus, our student body, the athletic department and the future of Babson."
The 75,000-square-foot addition will nearly double the size of the existing athletics facilities and will offer many more opportunities for everyone within the Babson community. The centerpiece of the new building is a 10,000-square-foot, two-story fitness center that overlooks College Drive and features both a cardio suite and a strength-training suite, as well as two multipurpose studio spaces for fitness classes.
Other indoor features include a three-court gym for recreational sports and campus events, upgraded recreational and varsity locker rooms, office space, and the Bravo Family Sports Medicine Suite thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Stephen M. Bravo P'20 and Ms. Catherine I. Turnes-Bravo P'20. The new state-of-the-art sports medicine area is highlighted by hot and cold hydrotherapy tubs, as well as the Mr. Kenneth Romanzi '82 & Dr. Nancy Major Romanzi Rehabilitation Clinic.
"This opening of the BRAC recreation and fitness areas is incredibly exciting for both athletics and the entire Babson community," stated Pamela P. and Brian M. Barefoot Senior Director of Athletics and Athletics Advancement Mike Lynch. "The new spaces are extremely impressive and are only going to help enhance the student-athlete experience and forever change the trajectory of our athletics programs. I'd like to acknowledge the generosity of our donors and everyone that played a part in making the vision for this transformational facility a reality."
In addition to the indoor features, another major part of the $52 million project is Lamere Plaza, which will serve as a gathering location for alumni on the south lawn. As part of the gift from David F. Lamere '82, Babson Trustee and co-chair of the College's Campus Master Plan and Facilities Committee, and his wife, Laura Lemere, the plaza features a new statue of the Babson Beaver.
The BRAC project, which started with the completion of new tennis courts in the fall of 2017, also included a number of enhancements within the Webster Center over the last two summers. Old locker room space was renovated to create new varsity locker rooms, new lighting was added to Morse Pool, and new bleachers were installed in Staake Gymnasium. The Webster Center lobby and the hallway connecting BRAC to the upper fields also have a brand new look with imagery celebrating the success of the department's 22 programs.
"The Babson RecFit staff is truly excited and honored to be overseeing the operation of the new state-of-the-art Babson Recreation and Athletics Complex," said recreation director Trey Duval. "Having been involved with the opening of the Loyola Marymount University recreation center in California, I have seen firsthand how it immediately changes a campus. I believe the same thing will be true as BRAC will have an immediate impact on the Babson community, especially in terms of improving the quality of student life."
The BRAC fitness and recreation areas will be available for a free trial preview from September 3-15. Six-month, 12-month and summer memberships will be available beginning on September 16. For membership information and hours of operation, please visit www.babsonathletics.com and click on RecFit.