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City Takes First Step in Bringing New Recreation Center to Westwood Neighborhood

$5.4 million from the voter-approved Elevate Denver Bond Program will purchase land for future recreation center site

DENVER ­- The City and County of Denver is moving forward with the proposed purchase of two land parcels in the Westwood neighborhood for the future Westwood recreation center. The Westwood community strongly advocated for a recreation center during the creation of the Elevate Denver Bond Program and today the Department of Finance filed an ordinance to purchase the parcels for $5.4 million – part of the $37.5 million from the Elevate Denver Bond dedicated to the land acquisition, design and construction of the new recreation Center.

“Every Denver resident deserves to have the same access to the services that support equity in their neighborhoods and for our families,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “This purchase allows us to make good on the promise we made to Westwood residents with the Elevate Denver bonds to provide a new state-of-the-art recreation center in right in the heart of their community.”

The proposed purchase will be heard at City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee on Tuesday, June 18. The proposed parcels, 4320 Morrison Road and 753 S. Raleigh Street, offer a footprint of roughly 126,000-square-feet right off Morrison Road, a historic and defining corridor in the Westwood neighborhood. The sites are close to transit stops, have visible access points, and have parking options for bicycles and vehicles.

“We are proud to make a significant investment in the health and wellness of the Westwood community,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks & Recreation. “This facility will provide greatly needed recreation opportunities to the neighborhood and will be a community hub in supporting active, healthy lifestyles.”

Once the land is acquired, the project will move into the design phase. The city will host a series of public meetings to guide the design of the new recreation center space focused on the neighborhood’s vision and needs. The new recreation center is expected to include a gymnasium, fitness areas for weights and cardio activities and community spaces. Specific facility programming will be determined through community input during the design phase.

“My very first request and top priority when taking office in 2007 was to build a recreation center in one of the largest underserved areas,” said Councilman Paul López, who represents Westwood on City Council. “Now, our collective persistence has prevailed. Westwood will finally have a recreation center symbolizing what a community can accomplish when they work together to achieve a common goal.”