Morenci Community Center

Morenci, Arizona

The Freeport-McMoRan (FMI) Morenci Operations identified a comprehensive feasibility study of a new community fitness center for Morenci, Arizona as a high priority for 2012. In 2011, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture was hired to initiate a feasibility study to solicit community input, determine program components, assess alternative locations on the selected site, develop project budgets, create a business plan, produce a concept design, and document the findings in a report.

LocationMorenci, Arizona

ClientFreeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.


CategoryAquatics, Multigenerational, Planning + Studies

Square Footage55,000


As a result of this study, it was determined that the new community center could become an anchor of an overall new civic center campus that would include the existing theater, library, Morenci Club and a new daycare facility. FMI agreed to move forward with three projects: the 55,000-s.f. community center, a 7,000 sf daycare center, and redevelopment of the town center parking, plazas and landscaping.

One of the major site planning challenges, was developing a Community Center design that would fit between an existing Outdoor Pool, the Movie Theater and a 150 foot high retaining wall on the back side of the facility. As a result, this forced our design team to create an extremely efficient floor plan.

The Morenci Community Center includes an outdoor lap pool with connection to the indoor recreation activity pool through bi-folding hanger doors. A gymnasium, elevated walk/jog track, weights and fitness, group fitness, racquetball court, pinnacle climbing wall, child watch, indoor playground, party rooms and a Starbucks coffee shop round out the amenities.

Inspired by the local mines, a headframe motif acted as a visual marker for the entrance and interior theming. Employees of the mine, including family members, are admitted to the Community Center for free. 

Architectural character was inspired by other civic center campus buildings like the Spanish roof tiles and arched openings of the theater courtyard below.

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