Project Overview

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

Project Background

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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.

Future of Recreation Centers - building life cycle graph

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

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