Williams to break ground on a new recreation center.

An architectural rendering of the new Multipurpose Recreation Center
An architectural rendering of the new Multipurpose Recreation Center provided by CannonDesign

Williams will break ground on a new Multipurpose Recreation Center (MRC) in late spring. 

The MRC, whose construction is supported in part by alumni gifts, including $15 million from Jim Hield ’77 and the WEM Foundation, will serve as the temporary home for Williams’ indoor athletic practices, intramural sports and other recreational activities that were displaced after the Towne Field House closed unexpectedly in spring 2023.

The new building is to be located on the north side of campus, adjacent to the tennis courts near Stetson Road. It will feature a three-lane, 200-meter track, three tennis courts and practice space for Williams’ baseball and softball teams along with a 40-foot rock climbing wall. The facility’s amenities will also include restrooms, storage space, a small athletic training room and changing rooms for teams.

Designed by the Boston office of the global architectural firm CannonDesign, and built by Suffolk Construction, the MRC will be a pre-engineered, metal structure. The flexible building design will allow future uses, including indoor tennis courts, as the need arises. The new building also intends to meet campus sustainability and architectural standards and improve the quality of life for Williams students, faculty and the community as a whole. 

Completion of the MRC is expected in late 2025. The college has begun a  comprehensive programming study to explore athletics, recreation and well-being campus-wide. The scope will include new facilities along with thoughtful renewal of current facilities and open spaces in alignment with the campus plan. The college will be seeking broad input from a wide range of stakeholders.

Published April 8, 2024