Central Recreation Center

Aurora, Colorado, United States

As the city’s first new recreation center in 40 years, Central Recreation Center in the heart of Aurora, Colorado, is a regional destination that features first-of-its-kind amenities and fully integrated art installations. Designed by Populous and a thorough public input process, the $34 million, 61,250-square-foot center boasts state-of-the-art facilities and unbeatable views of the Rocky Mountains. 

Central Recreation Center was designed with the community front of mind, and it intentionally reflects elements of the unique Colorado lifestyle. Inspired by the conceptual possibilities of movement, energy and water, the facility features both small- and large-scale innovative elements, finishes and patterns that incorporate these themes — such as wall coverings, mosaic tile design, lighting and a public art installation. The building was designed to accommodate this art, seamlessly incorporating the pieces to align with the overarching structural themes.  

New regional offerings at the center include a wave pool and waterslide with interactive videos that allow visitors to customize their waterslide experience to various themes. The facility features a gymnasium, natatorium, two fitness studios, a fitness grandstand, indoor track, cooking and catering kitchen and an escape room.  It’s also home to two community meeting rooms and party rooms. An outdoor fitness balcony with sightlines to the front range provides a flexible setting for fitness classes, including sunrise and sunset yoga. There is also a second, rentable, outdoor patio on the ground level with grills and space for private parties.


  • 2019 ENR Mountain States – Best Project in the Sports/Entertainment Category 
  • 2019 ENR National – Best Project in the Sports/Entertainment Category