It’s still years away from completion, but the Westwood Recreational Center now has a designer, and soon, some feedback from locals to figure out what it should look like.
On Monday, Denver City Council unanimously approved a $3.9 million contract with Anderson Mason Dale Architects to design the recreation center. It’s a move Councilmember Jamie Torres, who represents Westwood, said signals the project is moving forward, especially after some delays prompted by the pandemic.
Early plans for the center call for a 40,000-square-foot facility that may include an indoor gym, weight-lifting areas, an indoor pool and multipurpose rooms.
Parks and Recreation spokesperson Cyndi Karvaski said Tuesday the city will host public meetings so the people who will use the rec center get a chance to tell the city and the architects what it should look like, and what kind of programs the rec center should have. She said the meetings will start next year, though people can sign up online to get updates on the project or join the process.
“We are excited about this,” Karvaski said. “This is the first recreation center in this area.”
The city bought the 2.9-acre site near the corner of Morrison Road and West Walsh Place in 2019 for $4 million. It used to house a car wash and a small shopping center, though Karvaski said demolition of those facilities started in May and completed over four weeks. Money for buying the land, designing and constructing the center comes from a portion of the $937 million Elevated Denver Bond Program approved by voters in 2017. The project got $37.5 million from this bond package.
Voters will once again decide whether to approve more bond money next month. The $450 million package includes $13 million to build a new library in Westwood.
The city aims for a groundbreaking for the rec center next summer, before opening its doors in late 2025.