Sweeping Up

Broomfield was a beneficiary of the Internet boom as thousands moved into the area to take advantage of a burgeoning Silicon-Valley like valley between Denver and Boulder.

Though the boom busted, the thousands generally stayed to enjoy the climate, the views and the proximity to world-class skiing and recreation.

In addition to steady housing development, the city and county of Broomfield also welcomed to its midst a shopopolis called FlatIron Crossing.

These tax-dollar-generating giants helped the city realize its goal of building a new recreation center to supplement its 29-year-old center and to better serve the traditionally far-flung, yet now almost heart-of-the-city developments within Broomfield’s borders.

First to Last

Broomfield’s Paul Derda Recreation Center opened in November of last year. With a price tag of around $21 million, citizens streamed in, and still stream in, to see the city’s tax dollars at work.

The center features a leisure pool with slides, zero-depth interactive features, a toddler area, and a lazy river. There’s also lap swimming and diving boards, plus two hot tubs — one for adults and one for families.

Broomfield’s director of recreation services, Bob Prince, says they decided not to build a steamer sauna based on feedback from other recreation centers who said the saunas create more monitoring and maintenance.

Racquetball courts were also nixed from the lineup for two reasons. One was a private club that had extensive racquetball courts (which has since gone out of business), and the cost and relatively slim return for the square footage the courts eat up.

“The only piece that had any big conversation or debate was whether to build a warm water or cold water pool. The council was in favor of a warm-water pool, but we also have serious lap swimmers and swim teams who want a cold lap pool,” says Prince.

“We didn’t have a leisure pool, so we wanted to and decided to build a warm-water leisure pool. A project in our future is to build an indoor coldwater pool and an outdoor pool.”

Prince says that it was decided early on that the center would spend more than the usual per square foot, but make sure to spend that money as wisely as possible and to spend it consistently throughout the facility. In other words, each component of the center would receive equal and quality treatment.

“You have to look at what you’re trying to present to the public when they walk in the door. Is it a simple brick building or a private club look? How many dollars per square foot do you want to spend? There are centers that are beautiful in the front lobby, but once you get past that you can see the decrease in the dollar per square foot,” says Prince.

“Our community is very active and we wanted to show them a great facility, so we felt it should have a consistent look throughout the facility. You have to get the pulse of your community and see what’s already available. We didn’t build a large basketball gym, for example, because there are a lot of courts in the city.”

The center also includes a walking/running track, a weight room, two cardiovascular areas, two studios, a basketball/volleyball gym, a gymnastics center, an indoor playground, an early learning center licensed by the state, a game room for teenagers with various free video and table games, three party rooms and a giant climbing wall that greets visitors in the foyer.

“The climbing wall has exceeded our highest expectations in its use; we’re just packed every day,” says Prince. The climbing wall is generally supervised and programmed, though if you can verify certification you can use it unsupervised at specific times of the day.

The variety of activities is a potent draw for birthday parties. The center typically hosts five or six per day on the weekend. There are also a couple of inflatables available for an extra fee.

The birthday parties and other special events are a fringe benefit. The amenities fit the community’s active lifestyle, and Prince says that seniors have been one of the more active groups, whether they’re on the cardio equipment, on the track or even on the climbing wall.

The center runs two programs with HMOs that allow participants at Kaiser Permanente and PacifiCare to use the center for free. The HMOs pay the center for the usage fee, and are amenable to the program because they’re seeking the benefit of preventative fitness.

Page 1 of 2 | Next page

Related posts:

  1. Prince William County Pool Maintenance
  2. Master Plan
  3. Get Your Kicks
  4. Interactive Aquatic Strategies
  5. Swim Lessons
  • Columns
  • Departments