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Brennan Center (RG 119)

An upclose photograph of the Springfield College Brennan Center, c. 2000. The building is surrounded by shrubs and the inverted Springfield College triangle is displayed on the top of the building.

Brennan Center

The Brennan Center, a single-level brick building located a short distance away (precisely one and a half miles) from campus on 45 Island Pond Road, was originally purchased by Springfield College on July 1, 1992. The building was given to Springfield College as a gift by Mr. and Mrs. Brennan, former owners of the Brennan College Service Corporation. Their corporation was sold to a larger company and the Brennan Family felt that the college would greatly benefit from the building. When the building was first acquired, it housed the Emergency Medical Services program (EMS) and the Physician Assistant (PA) Bachelor Degree Program. Previously, the EMS program was located in the basement of Locklin, in which a lack of space soon became a problem. In addition, the newly formed Archives and Special Collections was moved from the Babson Library to the Brennan Center, where it remained until 2010 when it returned to campus in the newly renovated Judd Gymnasia.

During the winter and spring of 2002, the 19,300 square-foot building underwent a $2 million renovation/ expansion. This renovation was completed in the fall of 2002. The building became the new home of the School of Social Work and the College’s conference center. In addition, alterations to approximately 3,900 square-feet of the Brennan Center were made to create the college’s Archives and Special Collections. The purpose of the renovation and expansion was to provide enhanced space for inhabitants as well as to support the College’s meeting-space needs. Additions to the new facility included electronically equipped classrooms with smart technology; a large, tiered auditorium-style classroom; a conference room with seating for 20 around an oval table; an airy, light-filled two-story lobby/lounge; a computer room; and various other facilities. The PA and EMS programs were moved back on campus to the first floor or Wilbraham Hall. The reason for moving these programs back on the main campus was because of the large number of undergraduates in those programs. The College felt it was important to have all of the undergraduates taking classes and being able to utilize all of the services that they were paying for at the college from the main campus.

After the School of Social Work moved to the newly renovated Brennan Center, it created a domino effect for the relocation of other offices. Admissions moved to the space that was vacated by Social Work located on Middlesex Avenue. Doggett Memorial, which was built in the 1950’s and had been used as the Admissions Office since the 1990’s was showing its age. The prospective costs of renovating the building were not in the College’s favor. Instead, in March 2002 Doggett Memorial was demolished to make way for construction of the new president’s house. The Board of Trustees believed that Springfield College was the type of institution in which the president ought to live on campus. This would provide a living space for the current President, Dr. Richard B. Flynn, and future presidents. It also provided additional space for presidential meetings and entertainment.

In 2010, the Springfield College Archives and Special Collections were moved into the new Stitzer YMCA Center. As a result of this move, the 3,900 square feet that was used for the preservation of the college’s archives was freed to be used to increase the classroom and office space needed by the School of Social Work. A vision that saw its realization in the summer of 2012.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

At this time there is not a lot of information contained in the Brennan Center Records. The collection contains some drafts of floor plans, a proposal submitted by Kieran, Timberlake & Harris for the renovation of the Brennan Center to hold the Archives dated September 1997, and a series of electronic photographs with paper facsimiles of the 2002 renovations and the archives at that time.