Blog: Tagged 'Renovation'
New tennis center updates to increase space and amenities.
Posted on April 18, 2018 at 04:29pm
The adaptive reuse of the dated aquatic center added much-needed sports programming space for the City of Montrose.Continue
Part of the challenge in designing new community recreation centers is deciding what to do with existing recreation facilities. While some buildings may not warrant the cost to repair and renovate, others can be repurposed to take on a second life in the community.
When planning for the Montrose Community Recreation Center, BRS was tasked with breathing life back into the existing natatorium. The premanufactured building had been exposed to years of heat and humidity on the inside and large swings in temperature from the outside. Coupled with an underperforming mechanical system, the stresses of maintaining an indoor aquatic environment had taken its toll on the skylights and steel of the building.
The corroded steel structure was threatening to fail and the new community center was about to replace the aquatics programming, so BRS worked with the community to determine the best use for the aging facility. The input from the community led to the idea of converting the old pool into a field house fit for team sports and other community activities.
With a plan in hand, the team set to work creating the space. Filling up the pool, adding a new turf field, renovating locker rooms and adding room and amenities for spectators was the easy part. Taking care of the structure required close attention to prevent future deterioration. The structural steel was thoroughly cleaned, damaged areas were reinforced or replaced with care, and the old skylights were replaced with new polycarbonate material to let more of the Colorado sunshine fill the space.
After a fresh coat of paint and lines on the turf, the facility was ready to play and opened to the public shortly after the new community center opened its doors. The community came out to celebrate the grand opening with us, and after filling the field with soccer balls, our team took a turn bouncing around the field.
With a new community center and a former aquatic center with a new lease on life, the City of Montrose now has ample space and programs to meet all the recreation and sports programming needs of the community for years to come.
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Posted by Neil Arends on December 21, 2017 at 10:30am
The newly renovated Moorhead Recreation Center reopens its doors to the city of Aurora.Continue
The newly renovated Moorhead Recreation Center reopens its doors to the city of Aurora. Read more in the article about the center from the Denver Post.Hide Full Post
Posted by Megan Mitchell on August 15, 2017 at 02:00pm
You may have an idea of what improvements you would like to see in your recreation center, but no plans should be made until a due-diligence assessment of the full facility is completed. Put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor and take a look at your facility, asking the following questions:Continue
EXTERIOR + ENTRY
- What is the image portrayed by the facility?
- Do I feel safe during my visit?
- Is it easy to find and enter the site?
- Is there a spot to lock up a bike?
- Is there enough car parking?
- Do I know where to go once I approach and enter the building?
*Asking these questions helps you understand the vital first impression the facility has on users.
- What are my impressions when I enter?
- Am I wowed?
- Is it clear where to go or to whom I should speak?
- Did someone greet me?
*Consider the ability of staff to greet and direct patrons as well as control the flow of people. This applies to existing users allowed swift entry and also new members needing assistance. Ensuring great customer service will always provide the largest return on investment.
- Are corridors well-lit, clean, with appealing colors and design?
- What, if anything, is on the walls?
- What programming opportunities are visible as I walk down the hall?
*From a cost perspective, corridors and hallways are typically wasted space unless they can serve dual purposes. Consider using these spaces as a pre-function meeting area or for designated donor or public art displays. Internal windows or view portals within a corridor are an excellent way to show off the facility while advertising activities and programs.
- Are the locker rooms clean?
- Do I have enough privacy?
- Are lockers and amenities accessible to users of all abilities?
- Are there any broken lockers, locks or fixtures?
*These changing spaces can be some of the most outdated and unhappy areas of an older facility. The design layout is typically based on an antiquated use model that has not been updated with more-modern privacy standards, ADA accessibility requirements and user-friendly amenities.
- What are the existing programs offered?
- How well-attended are classes?
- When was the last time new programs were added?
*Often, we hear that these spaces — originally intended for great flexibility — never reach the highest utilization because of common issues such as improper floor finish selection (which limits certain activities) or the inability to consistently staff and schedule the room for maximum use.
- How old is the pool?
Does it meet all the recent code changes regarding accessibility, safety and
Are primary chemical and supplemental treatment systems up to current
Does the air temperature feel comfortable, and is the smell of chloramines
- Have any of the materials in the room degraded due to rust or excessive moisture?
- Are the levels of natural and artificial lighting adequate?
How loud is it? Can a swim instructor be heard clearly on one side of the
space while the screaming toddlers are splashing around on the other side?
*Aquatics areas can provide some of the most concerning issues in an existing facility. However, they can also provide some of the most impactful opportunities for improvement. Swimming pools, as well as the overall natatorium envelope, need to be assessed.
- Are all areas of the building comfortably heated/cooled?
- Are different areas able to be programmed or controlled individually?
- Are gymnasium spaces being cooled and lit when not in use?
Are newer, more-energy-efficient systems available for water heating,
lighting, building cooling, etc.?
*Advances in mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems have come a long way in the past 10 to 20 years. Adopting new design strategies or energy-efficient systems seems like a no-brainer for a renovation project. However, they can be difficult to sell if it means forfeiting programming space to stay within budget.
Posted by Zach Bisek, AIA, LEED AP on August 12, 2014 at 03:51pm
Many communities across the country are emerging from the recession with new energy, new life and new ideas for their future. While budgets are loosening, recreation organizations are still limited when it comes to undertaking new projects. Construction of a new recreation center is still out of reach for many organizations, but long-desired renovations of an existing facility might be feasible — at least some of them.Continue
Before beginning any renovations, recreation facility operators should identify and prioritize the key opportunities within a center. The first step in almost any financial endeavor is to assess the local and regional markets. How have the demographics of your community changed? Are young families moving out, while active aging adults are moving in? Have other service providers come into town? Whether it is a private, public or nonprofit entity, each of these organizations most likely offer alternative user amenities, levels of service, or pricing structures to attract their customers.
Also consider the future of recreation. Research the new and upcoming trends in facility design, equipment and programming that could help define your unique position in the marketplace.
The next step is to perform an assessment of your existing facility. Begin by reviewing the existing information: previously completed studies, facility master plans or resident surveys may have already identified areas of focus or concern. Analyzing past performance numbers or trend logs is an excellent way to identify areas of potential improvement that may not be as easily seen on a day-to-day basis. Has the operating budget fluctuated? Have admissions and memberships gone up or down? How about seasonal utility bill variations? Identifying one or two of these statistical anomalies may illustrate opportunities for financial operational savings or just simply provide a more user-friendly class schedule.
An assessment doesn’t need to be entirely negative; acknowledging what is working is equally important. Are there unique or historical links between the facility and the community or even special character features that should be preserved? Identifying and honoring these symbolic elements should be one of the easiest decisions a community makes when updating its facility.
The real meat and potatoes of an assessment begins once you step up to the front door. Reviewing the physical condition of a center can be a daunting task, but it will reveal some of the most obvious opportunities for improvement. The condition of the overall building’s structure and envelope, its plumbing, electrical and aquatic systems, as well as the facility’s existing interior finishes provides a very broad snapshot of how the facility has aged over the years.
Now clean off your boots and grab a drink of water. All of the information you gathered needs to be documented within a facility report for final review and input. Discuss your findings with city and district officials, faculty and staff, the general public and everyday users as well as neighboring strategic partners. Getting outside input on your facilities assessment report is a critical step to prioritizing each opportunity discovered during your evaluation.
With a complete assessment in hand, the next step is to identify the major areas of opportunity. The value of each space within a recreation center is not a simple equation and may change from community to community or user to user. Start by assigning costs, earned revenue potential and requested priorities from the assessment step for each new or improved space. Create a spreadsheet or chart or catalog index cards that track this information for easy reference and discussion. Every project will identify its own list of high-priority spaces based on this criteria. Many spaces may cost a substantial amount of money to renovate; however, if they can generate a notable amount of revenue, then their value in a project is likely to increase.
Recreation Revival Part II coming soon!Hide Full Post
Posted by Zach Bisek, AIA, LEED AP on July 23, 2014 at 09:58am
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