Montrose Community Recreation Center + Field House

Montrose, Colorado

The architecture of the center draws inspirations from the history of the city as well as the location. The final design is equally divided between the aquatics, sports and fitness portions of the building. Unique features are an adventure walk/jog track and a repurposed premanufactured building that has become the fieldhouse.

LocationMontrose, Colorado

ClientMontrose Recreation District


CategoryAquatics, Planning + Studies, Multigenerational, Fieldhouse, Renovation

Square Footage80,000


Inspiration from the landscape

As guests are welcomed into the building they are greeted by a large trestle bridge suspended over the front desk. This walkway resembles a railroad bridge which is a common sight in Montrose; as the city was born around the railroad.

The exterior featuring a dark slate stone with inlayed steel is inspired by the veins of lighter stone in Black Canyon of Gunnison.

Adventure Track

The track has three options for fitness users including a flat section surrounding the upper fitness, a hill track section surrounding the three gyms and a stair track section which utilizes the existing building stairs to create a two level track around the fitness area on the second level and the gyms on the lower level.

Montrose participates in the BRS Benchmark Network survey.

From Natatorium to Field House

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 tiny soccer balls, our team took a turn bouncing around the field playing bubble soccer.

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.

Montrose won the Columbine Award from Colorado Parks and Recreation for best new facility and renovated facility design.

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