In the summer of 2007, Bryant University announced the transition to Division I athletics and joined the Northeast Conference, becoming a full member in 2012. With 22 teams and more than 550 student athletes, Bryant's programs have received attention and recognition at local, regional and national levels. Key to their success is the university's Strength and Conditioning Program, which strives to improve athletes' strength, speed, power, mobility and conditioning while reducing injury. Recognizing the importance of strength and conditioning to the success of student-athletes, Bryant hired Sasaki Associates to design the Bulldog Strength and Conditioning Center. This new 10,000-square-foot facility provides varsity athletes with a state-of-the-art weight training environment, designed both to strengthen teams for top-level competition and recruit the best new talent.
The building more than doubles Bryant's previous space and resources and is large enough so entire teams can work out in one rotation, fostering more teamwork and comradery and also allowing student-athletes to deploy their time efficiently. The building includes weightlifting stations, workout areas, a nutrition station, and an indoor turf sprint area. The jewel-box pavilion of glass and steel is featured prominently at the entrance to the football stadium just south of the end zone. When viewed by thousands of spectators from their stadium seating, the building lends a fresh and contemporary image to the campus that unfolds in the distance beyond.
The main volume is a simple shed with exposed structure and mechanical systems above 24 lifting platforms, selectorized weight and cardio machines, medicine ball walls, and a 160' indoor turf. That main space is wrapped on the south and west sides by a lower, limestone massing that houses support program: a nutrition center, cubby rooms, changing rooms, coach offices, a conference room, restrooms, storage and mechanical spaces. In addition to the student functions, the Bulldog Strength and Conditioning Center also hosts VIP and alumni events during football games, with a tented terrace on the north side looking out onto the field.
More details on how the Bulldog Strength & Conditioning Center has enhanced the student-athlete experience at Bryant can be found on their website.