This September, years of sketches, planning and blueprints are coming to life as Babson College’s new state-of-the-art Recreation and Athletics Complex is breaking ground. The 176,870-square-foot facility is projected to be completed in the fall of 2019, right in time for the college’s centennial celebration.
The facility is projected to cost in the neighborhood of $50 million, and the college is currently undergoing a fundraising campaign, trying to raise $10 to $15 million for the recreation center.
Mike Lynch, the senior director of athletics and athletic advancement, said it [the athletic complex] really addresses a dire need on campus for up-to-date physical education, physical recreation and athletic spaces. “The main indoor facility here at Babson was built in the 1970s, and this was an opportunity for us to transform the opportunities for every student on campus, in the form of fitness and wellness,” added Lynch.
Lynch said he has been heavily involved in details and organization in the planning of the facility, along with working alongside his direct boss to fully complete the project ideas and drawings. “Now, we’re ready for construction,” he said. The college decided to use Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A) architects for the project due to the closeness in their proximity to the college.
The new recreation center will include:
- A two-story, 10,000-square-foot fitness, cardio and strength facility
- A three court multi-purpose gymnasium that will also serve as a space for large meetings, with the ability to hold 1,000 to 1,500 people comfortably
- A brand new sports medicine center for athletes
- Improved locker rooms for varsity teams
- Multi-purpose spaces for yoga, dance, spinning and other classes
What is Lynch most excited for? The three court gymnasium. “Just the open recreation space for campus,” he said. “It’s something Babson clearly lacks — when you walk out, the campus is beautiful. A lot of other facilities are up-to-date, but when you look at the athletic facilities for the general campus population, they are basically non-existent. I think we have seven treadmills on the entire campus, and that’s our extent of opportunities for a rec program right now.”
Seven treadmills noticeably can’t fulfill the exercise needs for the 2,200 undergraduate and 900 graduate students on campus, and Lynch thinks the best benefit for their students is essentially the convenience of having their own health club on campus.
“We have a lot of students who go off campus to get a workout in,” added Lynch. “This way, they’ll be able to walk out of their dorm, and exercise in a very premier place — that will be the biggest benefit for them.”