Construction Slated to Begin in 2015
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock, joined by Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb (Dist. 10) and Councilman Albus Brooks (Dist. 8), today announced the design and construction of the highly anticipated Central Denver Recreation Center will move forward. The estimated 60,000 sq. ft. center will be located at Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street in Council District 8.
“Denver is focused on connecting every resident and neighborhood to the resources they need to live vibrant lives,” Mayor Hancock said. “I am extremely proud that we can deliver on this regional recreation center that will better connect this community and pump positive activities into this corridor. Thank you to all the stakeholders who have helped us make this a reality as it will play a major role in providing a high quality of life for Denver families and children.”
In 2007, Denver voters overwhelmingly supported the Denver Better Bond Program that allowed the city to enhance and construct facilities that touch the lives of all residents. The acquisition of land for a recreation center in central Denver was among those projects.
In October 2009, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) purchased 2.56 acres of land formerly occupied by the Church in the City for the new recreation center. The land, located at 1530 Josephine Street, was acquired for $6 million.
To fund the design and construction of the recreation center, the city will apply proceeds from the sale of Market Street Station to finance the majority of the costs, supplemented by revenue from the city’s TABOR Special Revenue Fund.
“We can’t wait to dive into the formal design phase of this project,” said Lauri Dannemiller, Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation. “This cutting-edge recreation center will compliment other centers in our system. We look forward to working with Denver’s residents and future users of this facility to provide the amenities and programs they need.”
In 2012, a DPR survey asked potential users what types of amenities they would like to have in the new recreation center. As a result of that survey, DPR plans to include indoor leisure and lap pools that can host competitive events, a large fitness/training area, a multi-court gymnasium, multi-purpose classrooms, a child care/toddler area and a large group exercise room in addition other amenities. Preliminary plans call for the facility to consist of more than 60,000 square feet of useable space spread across two floors.
A series of public input meetings are planned in the coming months to further refine these ideas and develop a final building program and conceptual design.
“After 10 years, this is truly a dream come true,” said District 10 Councilwoman Jeanne Robb. “A recreation center at this site was first discussed in the East Colfax Plan in 2003. This facility will really meet a need in Central Denver and fulfills the voters’ expectations.”
District 8 Councilman Albus Brooks also shared his enthusiasm for moving this project forward.
“This project is more than just a center for recreation – it is a hub of community vibrancy and a true neighborhood asset for generations to come,” Brooks said. “Many thanks to the community, Mayor's office and Councilwoman Robb for making this dream a reality.”
The site of the new recreation center was developed into a temporary dog park and urban garden after the initial purchase of the property in 2009. DPR will explore possibilities of incorporating these amenities into the site plan for the new recreation center. If that is not possible, the city will look for alternative locations for the dog park and garden in the surrounding area.
DPR will also partner with Denver Public Schools to ensure the best use of the recreation center to support the needs of Denver families and children and help them maintain active and healthy lifestyles.
“Denver is working tirelessly to improve opportunities for its families and children,” the Mayor said. “This new recreation center in the heart of our city and right next door to East High School will be free to students through the MY Denver Card and will provide an opportunity for competitive swimming and sports programming for those who live in central Denver.”