Project Overview

As Boulder’s recreation centers age, we are planning for the future of these buildings and our high-quality recreation system.

How can I participate?

We received over 1, 200 comments for community members and are currently analyzing the results. Staff will summarize and share results as soon as possible.

Please sign up for the project email list below to receive updates and to be notified for future engagement opportunities on this project.

Project Background

Para recibir más información en español, llame al 303-413-7200 x9.

Boulder’s three recreation centers are aging and, to keep them in good shape for the long-term for our community, they will need significant investment in the near future.

Help us imagine the future of these buildings and our high-quality recreation system. We are working with our partners in the Facilities and Fleet Department (Facilities) as we start planning for the indoor spaces and the recreation center buildings themselves.

Facilities oversees all city buildings including the recreation centers. Boulder Parks and Recreation department (BPR) coordinates closely with Facilities on the maintenance, operations and renovation of the centers.

As buildings, like our three recreation centers, get older, they become more expensive to maintain. They eventually reach a point where maintaining the infrastructure escalates significantly. At this “inflection point” a decision should be made to determine whether continued investment is worthwhile, if a significant renovation should happen, or if the building should be repurposed entirely.

Life Cycle of the Boulder Parks and Recreation Centers. Text description in included below.

Text description: Graph showing facility age in years viewed by estimated cost of ownership. As facilities age, the cost of ownership increases. It shows NBRC and EBCC at an inflection point in "Middle Life" and SBRC at "Nearing End of Life."

BPR’s the three recreation centers are all nearing or past the inflection point in their life cycle:

  • South Boulder Recreation Center
    • Constructed in 1973
    • Past the inflection point and nearing end of life
  • East Boulder Community Center
    • Constructed in 1992
    • At inflection point
  • North Boulder Recreation Center
    • Constructed in 1974, renovation & additions in 2001
    • Approaching inflection point

BPR and Facilities are in the early stages of pre-planning the future of the recreation centers. Typically, as funding becomes available for each site, BPR would use a decision-making approach informed by policy direction, research, and community engagement. Learn more about this process in our 2022 BPR Department Plan.

Facilities is now exploring creative financial solutions building on the three pillars of facility asset management: environmental sustainability, financial stewardship, and social responsibility. The success of the financial exploration in 2023 will determine the next steps and timing for future renovations in 2024 and beyond.

Future actions for the three recreation center buildings could range from continued investment in the current state of the building to significant renovation and retrofit work.

We’re just getting started in this process, so thanks for your help as we imagine the future of our recreation centers!


  • Spring/summer 2023 – Presentations to City Council and decision on financial funding strategies
  • Fall 2023 – Selection process for financial funding strategy/partner (Request for Qualifications (RFQ))
  • Late 2023 – Early 2024 – Final selection of financial funding strategy/partner
  • 2024 and beyond – Further facilities planning with funding in place

Project Updates

Thank you to everyone who responded to the Future Recreation Centers questionnaire earlier this year. We share your passion for our great recreation system and appreciate hearing from you!

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) received a brief summary of responses at their July meeting (starts on page 12) and more details can be found in the Window 1 Engagement Summary.

Next Steps

Staff is working to identify funding and prioritize renovations at our recreation centers. Further community engagement, including updates to PRAB, will take place as the scope and timeline of projects is determined in the fall of 2023.

Thank you to our community who responded to the Future Recreation Centers questionnaire:

  • More than 1,200 community members filled out the online questionnaire.
  • Nearly 100 community members participated in in-person sessions at the centers in April.

Next Steps

Staff are currently analyzing your responses to help inform next steps, including future opportunities for sharing feedback.

An update with key take-aways from the questionnaire will be shared in advance of the July 24 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting.

Project Background

Boulder’s three recreation centers are aging and, to keep them in good shape for the long-term for our community, they will need significant investment in the near future.

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