2019 marks Babson’s centennial anniversary, and in addition to multiple academic and social celebrations, the college has also debuted its brand new rec center. Just as the college teaches its business students the importance of wise investments, Babson actively invests in the students’ well-being and personal successes.
Babson’s Recreation Amenities
The Babson Recreation and Athletics Complex (BRAC) is a 176,870-square foot addition that has been added to the existing Webster Center. The $50 million project started breaking ground for the new facility in the Spring of 2017, and was officially opened to the students and faculty in Fall 2019.
BRAC is a modern, state-on-the-art, two-story center comprised of a large, 10,000-square foot fitness center, multipurpose rooms, as well as club and intramural sport opportunities. BRAC’s new multi-purpose facility has nearly doubled Babson’s athletic and recreation amenities. As a result of the new construction, there is an additional three-court gym that is large enough to host campus-wide events, such as student orientation, career fairs, conferences, and concerts.
Babson aimed to create a rec center that would have something for all of the students to enjoy. For the students who are not varsity athletes, there are still plenty of options for recreation: club sports, yoga, aerobics classes, Zumba, and martial arts to name a few. Furthermore, the new space also accommodates socialization by offering gathering areas where students can relax with their friends before or after their workouts and games.
In addition to the construction of BRAC, Babson has also renovated the locker rooms and lobby at the existing Webster Center; the Webster Center offers students a Track Mezzanine, a fitness center with new Sorinex strength racks, a racquetball court, and a squash court.
As part of the reconstruction, the Webster Fitness Center has installed an improved sound system, new rubber flooring, synthetic surf, mirrors, and a fresh coat of paint in the fitness center. In March 2018, Babson opened their new Van Winkle tennis courts, which gave student athletes an additional space for practice and competition.
Since BRAC’s opening, eight more full-sized outdoor tennis courts have been built. Babson took into consideration the particular needs of their student athletes, and therefore decided to build varsity athletes’ dedicated team rooms for their various sports, advanced weight training equipment, and improved spaces for sports medicine assistance.
The Bravo Family Sports Medicine suite offers innovative technology, such as hydrotherapy, to their student athletes, and can support the students’ recovery from any number of injuries. Furthermore, within Bravo Sports Medicine, Babson also offers their student athletes access to the Romanzi Rehabilitation Clinic, which can further assist the students after an injury.
Student Athletes, Past and Present
Athletics Director, Mike Lynch, spoke with pride and exuberance about Babson’s student athletes, both former and current. For current students, prior to the construction of BRAC, varsity athletes shared training spaces with the rest of the students at Babson; now, the Webster Center can be used primarily by Babson students, while student athletes can train according to their specific needs at BRAC.
Babson is a NCAA Division III school with an impressive, competitive history dating back to 1920. At Babson’s Centennial Celebration this past September, the college inducted five national championship teams into their Hall of Fame from men’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, and men’s basketball. Babson’s first national championship title was earned in 1975, and most recently, the men’s basketball team earned an NCAA Division III national title in 2017.
Additionally, the basketball team has won numerous other New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships over the past few years. Other teams, such as the women’s basketball team have a long history of success, including making it to the NCAA tournament ten times, as well as attending the Sweet 16 three times. Lynch believes the new spaces for varsity athletes will further foster the talent and drive the student athletes are bringing to the twenty-two varsity programs at Babson.
Though sharing space at Webster was not a new challenge for the students and faculty at Babson, during the construction parking difficulties did prove to be quite the hurdle to overcome, according to Lynch. The college did attempt to minimize the inconvenience that any major construction brings by doing the bulk of the building during the Summer semester.
Future for College Sports at Babson
Lynch spoke highly about the student athletes as well as everyone involved in the massive renovation and construction projects at Babson. Many of the students at Babson have an “entrepreneurial mindset,” according to Babson Thought and Action.
The mutual dedication and respect students share with their institution, coaches, and instructors highlight the camaraderie and fortitude required to be successful in the business world; teamwork is paramount for leadership, and the experience Babson’s recreation facilities are able to provide the students is further shaping them into the impactful, efficient leaders they will become.