WAUWATOSA — Bryant and Stratton College is stepping their game up with a new 7,000 square foot expansion and renovation to make a new athletic training center, a state-of-the-art e-sports arena, and a media center for signings and shows.
"We've been to the national tournament in women's basketball twice in four years. And we expect multiple teams to be at that level," Greg Brandner says.
Brandner is the State Director and Athletic Director for Bryant and Stratton College. He oversees 285 student-athletes this fall, as the sports program rapidly grows.
"We started sports five years ago," Brandner says. "We thought there was huge niche to be a junior college for the whole state. And so, we started at this facility. We had our classrooms and the school's been here for 15 years here. But as we grew now, we're going to be at 20 teams."
The improvements started basically when the pandemic began and ended one year ago, to the tune of more than $2 million.
"Weight room. Indoor cages," Brandner says. "Locked locker rooms. But then we also wanted to get a dining area, because a lot of our student-athletes will stay in apartments, so there's a meal plan for them. So it all came together basically last March."
And it includes more than just traditional sports.
"We're tucked away in Wauwatosa. You have a woods area around the campus. But now when they walk through, it's very modern," Brandner says. "We have a media room where they can sign. E-sports. This area, so it is a great tool to have for our coaches and parents to see."
And with growth, there's always hurdles.
"Our greatest challenge is to get to the level where we want to compete at a national tournament in all sports," Brandner says. "And we think we're there. Five years in, we think we've set the base. Now we've got facilities. We still don't have a gym. We just don't have a few outdoor facilities, but we have great partners with like Mount Mary for the gym that we use. So I think we're at the cusp now, we're really taking this to a huge level."
Bryant and Stratton just received grants from the National Junior College Athletic Association to launch two new athletic programs - Men's Volleyball and Women's Flag Football, with support from the NFL & NFL Flag football. Both programs are scheduled for 2023 launches.