Public Spaces: Recreation Centers
Recreation Centers are key components to providing a full and active range of public amenities and services within a community. They range in size depending on the community. Regardless of the size, a recreation center is a source of pride and vitality for a community. They can provide opportunities for all ages and stages of life, providing many forms of recreation and exercise to the community.
Some forms of recreation and exercise cannot take place in public parks and need the resources provided by a recreation center. A recreation center allows these uses in a controlled environment ensuring access during longer hours and more days than typical public parks. These facilities also enable a community to consolidate many forms of recreation that may not be provided anywhere else in the community, such as weightlifting, racquetball, rock climbing, gymnastics and swimming. Recreation centers thus help ensure a community has a broad range of services for its citizens. In addition, providing a single recreation center that is centrally located and provides more uses than would be available at more neighborhood-oriented public parks enables a community to provide a greater range of recreational service in an efficient and strategic manner.
Recreation centers may range in size but regardless of size they require a significant amount of public funding both for construction, maintenance, and staffing. These facilities require substantial public will to undertake because of the financial investment.
- Provides a centralized location for a wide range of recreational and exercise facilities within a community
- Can be an economic development tool if built as part of a larger development
- Can be a significant source of community pride
- Significant costs
- Not revenue generators, so must be able to be accounted for in annual budget
- May result in decreased use of other public recreational facilities
Planning Department, Economic Development Department, Building Department, Mayor and Council/Commission, Community Organizations
Recreation Centers can be costly depending on the full assortment of amenities and services provided in the facility. But, recreation centers can also be provided with smaller budgets by limiting amenities.