Walk in to the new Northglenn Recreation Center and you’re met with the sounds of water splashing from swimmers, basketballs swishing, clashing of weights, chatter from community members and heavy panting from folks looking to push themselves out of their fitness comfort zones.
Sound travels far, as one of the goals for the center was to make it an open community with unity among the different activities occurring.
“We wanted to have it feel like a welcoming family,” said Justin Perdue, the recreation manager.
The center replaces the previous recreation center, which sits just northeast of the lot. Doors opened in 1975 and are now closed.
With a growing community, the need for a new recreation facility grew as well. Talks for a new building began about 20 years ago, and design started in 2018. Input from staff, the community and professionals all contributed to the final result. Ground broke in October 2019 and doors opened Oct. 9.
At almost double the size of the former center, the building stands at 87,887 square feet and cost about $54 million to build.
The active wing on the north side of the building is equipped with a gymnasium, an indoor track, a fitness area and two fitness studios. As well, the swimming area contains a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool, a leisure pool area with a short lazy river, a “bubble bench” connected to the leisure area with jets shooting out water five degrees warmer than the rest and a slide looping outside with a scoreboard displaying the fastest time.
As well, the center is very family friendly with rooms for mothers, six private cabanas for families, a play area for infants, community rooms, party rooms and a drop-in child care service.
Enter the southern end of the building, and jazz music fills the air. A sculpture hangs above the entrance, which was designed by Mark Aeling of Florida.
This wing offers what most recreation centers do not: a preschool, theatre and senior center.
Equipped with an outdoor playground, desks, chairs, toys and anything else infants would need, the certified preschool currently has classes for 20 young ones. However, once more staff is hired, 40 kids total can join the school for full day or half-day programs. A summer camp is also offered between the end and the start of school.
The program is state-licensed and the curriculum is guided by Colorado Academic Standards.
The state-of-the-art theatre can seat 335 people and comes with the whole nine yards. A rehearsal room, green room, dressing rooms, solo dressing rooms, a costume shop and a scene shop are all available. Upcoming shows include War of the Flowers and Motones & Jerseys: Holiday Hi-Fi.
In addition to theatre programs, other classes offered are dance, improv, voice and more.
Next to the theatre is a senior center with lots of space, games and fresh air. Seniors have access to a relaxation area with books, couches, tables and an outdoor patio for folks to sit.
There is also a common room and off the common room is a catering kitchen. The Recreation Center does have a liquor license and has the ability to serve alcohol. Behind the welcoming desk to the theatre is a wet bar to which drinks can be made and served.
Anyone can use the recreation center, whether a resident of Northglenn or not. However, membership fees are less expensive for Northglenn natives.
The center has a few thousand members, but Perdue expects that number to rise quickly as time goes on.
For now, Greg Hutchison, a resident of Northglenn, is enjoying the lack of crowds.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
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