Willa D. Johnson Recreation Center

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Willa D. Johnson Recreation Center is a new stand-alone rec center located in an underserved area on Oklahoma City’s northeast side. The center is a multi-purpose and youth-oriented recreation center located on the north side of Douglass Park, and is designed to be a replacement of the existing center that is over 75 years old.

LocationOklahoma City, Oklahoma

ClientCity of Oklahoma City


CategoryAquatics, Urban, Multigenerational

Square Footage38,000



The project has a base program area of 34,000 square feet and includes a small fitness area, lounge, child watch/multipurpose room, party/multipurpose room, gym, natatorium, and administration offices. The gym features two middle school courts and one high school cross court. The natatorium is over 4200 square feet and features one body of water.

“Willa Johnson was the first African-American woman to serve on our city council, so she clearly paved the way to have the things that we need within Northeast Oklahoma City. She championed our youth and our community. For us to be able to name this facility after her talks to and through her legacy.”

– Nikki Nice, Councilwoman

The 3800 square foot pool includes 3 lap lanes, a current channel, a multipurpose area and a zero-depth beach entry with a playground. The project included multiple add alternates to allow for additional program if the bidding market is favorable. The building alternates include a 1200 square foot multipurpose room that opens into a 500 square foot teaching kitchen, an expanded fitness area, and a flume slide in the natatorium.

Since the building is set in an existing park, the design team has integrated the building and parking into the existing outdoor fitness area, basketball court, pavilion, playground, parking and splash pad. Alternate site elements include two outdoor plazas with a variety of seating and shade structures. BRS’s role in schematic design was limited to program, plan design, and interior design. FSB was focused on the exterior design.

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