Located in a National Park and at an elevation 7,522-ft above sea level, Estes Park welcomed the first-of-its-kind design and construction project to the small, tourist town. The outcome of the project changed local design expectations, building code requirements and the community lifestyle.
With an outdated aquatic center used for the local school’s swim meets, the project required transforming the 10,900-sf center into a functional community and recreation center. By adding on an addition five times larger than the existing aquatic center, the finished facility became a multi-generational space, offering diversified fitness, recreation, social and educational opportunities.
The project started with prepping what was an abandoned elementary school to begin renovations. Nothing could prepare the team for the full extent of the renovation work required once construction started. As the project developed, the aging condition of the aquatic center became a rabbit-hole of problems with the amount of work needed to correctly tie the buildings together and maintain the aesthetic quality of the old structure. The end resulted in $1.7 million of additional renovation scope work while keeping the original schedule.
While renovations were underway, creating the new community center started. The 52,756-sf addition would combine community space needs – including senior services, library resources, family and youth amenities, meeting rooms and gathering spaces – along with family recreation and aquatics. French doors to the existing natatorium would open to the family natatorium, complete with water-play equipment, an outdoor jacuzzi, a lazy river and an outside-wrapping waterslide. Robust recreational spaces would include numerous group fitness rooms, exercise equipment areas, two gymnasiums, a suspended walking track and an indoor golf simulator.
With the end in mind, weather patterns of the mountain project location created an aggressive schedule, requiring the project to be completed in just 14 months.
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District
Aquatics & Recreation
Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative
Estes Park, CO
ABC Rocky Mountain Chapter, Excellence in Construction, Institutional, $10 to $25M – 1st Place
ABC Nationals, Excellence in Construction, Institutional, $10 to $25 million – Eagle Award (1st place)