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Mayor Hancock Joins Parks and Recreation for Topping Out of New Carla Madison Recreation Center

Surrounded by community members, city officials and workers wearing hard hats,  Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver Parks & Recreation Executive Director Allegra “Happy” Haynes, City Council President Albus Brooks and other officials, today signed and raised the final ceremonial beam to the top floor of the new Carla Madison Recreation Center. The placement of the final beam signifies the completion of the frame of the building.

“As a kid, I went to Hiawatha Davis Rec Center every week, and sometimes, every day. Our rec centers do not just help us stay active and healthy, they can be the heart of our communities, ” Mayor Hancock said. “Carla Madison Rec Center will be Denver’s largest recreation center once complete, and today’s milestone is one more step to realizing a service that this community has deserved for a long time. I look forward to the final build out so our residents in central Denver have a new place to be happy, healthy and active together.”

Prior to the event, the ceremonial beam was signed by workers on the project, community members, employees, city officials and dignitaries in attendance. At the ceremony, the mayor gave the signal for crews to prepare the beam. Riggers attached the large 20-foot, 520 pound beam to the main hook block of a crane as attendees watched the beam hoisted to the top floor of the new building.

“This state-of-the-art recreational facility will provide greatly needed recreation opportunities to the community and the surrounding areas,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “Based on the neighboring population, close proximity to downtown and East High School, this facility is projected to be the most highly utilized recreation center in the Denver Parks and Recreation system serving Denver’s dynamic urban core.” 

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 2014, to fund the design and construction of the recreation center, the city applied 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. The city celebrated the ground breaking of the recreation center in October of last year.

Construction on the 69,000 sq. ft. center located at Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street in Council District 9 is slated to be completed Fall of 2017.  The facility will include two swimming pools; an 8-lane lap pool and leisure pool, gymnasium with a full-size basketball court and cardio-weight room, group exercise rooms, multi-purpose room, child watch area, outdoor amenities, and community gathering spaces. Planned amenities on the site include an outdoor climbing wall, ¼ acre dog park, table tennis, slackline area, large picnic tables, onsite bike parking, a 15-bike B-Cycle station, climbing boulders and 130 parking spaces.

Membership is free to students through the MY Denver Card and will provide an opportunity to ensure the best use of the recreation center to support the needs of Denver families and children to help them maintain active and healthy lifestyles. 

Renderings of the facility can be found by clicking here.


About Denver Parks and Recreation
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) facilities are unrivaled in the Rocky Mountain West. The DPR system spans over a 148-year history, from the first park created in 1868 to nearly 20,000 acres of urban parks and mountain parkland today.

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The Game Plan
The DPR Game Plan is a community driven initiative the will define the next 15-20 years of investment and priorities for parks and recreation resources.  Your input can help define new parks and recreation centers, relevant programs, and how existing assets are maintained and enhanced in the face of financial constraints, climate change, shifting demographics and increased visitor usage.  Share Your Voice here.  For more information, visit