Design Consultant for Westwood Recreation Center Approved

Published on October 11, 2021

Denver City Council unanimously approved Denver Parks & Recreation’s (DPR) proposal for Anderson Mason Dale Architects to provide professional design services for the new Westwood Recreation Center, a community supported Elevate Denver Bond project. The projected 40,000 square foot recreation center will be located on a 2.9-acre site at the corner of Morrison Road and West Walsh Place in the Westwood neighborhood. 

“Community infrastructure investments like the Westwood Recreation Center don’t just create jobs during their construction, they also improve quality of life in our neighborhoods and for our residents who didn’t have easy access in their communities to these amenities before,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said, “The residents of Westwood advocated for and supported a new recreation center in their neighborhood, and we’re delivering on that promise and ready to design it in partnership with them.”

The $37.5 Million Westwood Recreation Center project is funded through the Elevate Denver Bond Program, approved by voters in 2017 to enhance mobility, safety and quality of life across Denver. The Westwood community strongly advocated for a recreation center during the outreach process leading up to the bond, and the public input process held in early 2018 to identify the community’s most desired projects identified health and wellness as a high priority throughout the city.

The Westwood neighborhood has been a historically underserved community in southwest Denver, with some of the highest youth and adult obesity rates in the city, paired with lack of access to recreation facilities and green space. Closing this service gap and providing the community health and wellness opportunities are part of DPR’s Game Plan for a Healthy City to ensure every person has access to safe facilities and dynamic programming.

“This facility will provide greatly needed recreation opportunities to the southwest Denver community and surrounding areas,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “We are proud of our park and recreation system and are thrilled to build a new recreational facility in an area of the city where there has been an absence in services. We thank the citizens of Denver who approved the Elevate Denver Bond Program and we look forward to pursuing additional developmental opportunities in the future. ”

“All communities deserve diverse recreation options, and the Westwood community is ready for this recreation center,” said Jamie Torres, Councilwomen District 3. “Securing an architecture firm is a tremendous step toward the vision this community crafted years ago. We are all looking forward to the beautiful facility that comes next!”

The community will continue to be an integral part of the planning, design and construction of the center and reflect Westwood through every stage. The city will ask for public input via a community engagement process during the design phase to help determine specific elements of the recreation center. In addition, a series of public input meetings will be planned to further refine ideas and develop a final building program and conceptual design. 

A stakeholder’s group made up of individuals representing several interests, including surrounding neighborhoods, Denver Public Schools, local businesses and other city agencies will work to ensure that all necessary voices are represented throughout the planning and design process.

The new recreation center could include an indoor pool, indoor gymnasium, fitness areas for weight-lifting and cardio activities, walk/jog track, sports courts, kid-watch, multipurpose rooms, community kitchen and meeting rooms, locker rooms, and outdoor areas for recreation activities and community events.

In addition to numerous opportunities for neighbors to engage in a healthy lifestyle through fitness and educational activities, the recreation center will provide a community gathering space where programs and resources can be more easily accessed. The specific program of the building will be determined during the design and community engagement phases of the project.

“La comunidad de Westwood está viendo el fruto de su trabajo colectivo. Estamos orgullosos del esfuerzo de nuestros jóvenes y agradecidos con los departamentos de la ciudad que apoyaron para hacer este sueño de la comunidad una realidad. Esto va a ser un lugar seguro, atractivo y de recursos para la comunidad del suroeste de Denver.” [The Westwood Community is realizing the fruit of its collective work. We are proud of our youths’ efforts and grateful to the city departments who supported to make this community’s dream a reality. This will be a safe, beautiful place with resources for the southwest Denver community] (Norma Brambilla, Community Organizer Westwood Unidos).

An initial survey was launched late last year to gather initial thoughts on what amenities and programming the recreation center should offer. The community input process for design will resume early next year, with an anticipated summer 2023 groundbreaking and project completion at the end of 2025. Membership will be free to students through the MY Denver Card and MY Denver Prime to provide an opportunity to ensure the best use of the recreation center to support the needs of families and children to help them maintain active and healthy lifestyles.

More information on the project can be found here: www.denvergov.org/parkprojects.