BROOMFIELD, CO-The City and County of Broomfield opened its $17.6 million Paul Derda Community Recreation Center Saturday. Located at 13201 Lowell Ave. in the 338-acre Broomfield County Commons, the 85,000 sf complex was designed by Denver-based Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture and built by Saunders Construction of Centennial.

“The center was designed with the needs of our community in mind,” says Bob Prince, Broomfield’s director of Recreation Services. “The warmth of the building and its bright colors encourage visitors to come in and have fun.”

The building was named after former longtime director of Broomfield Parks and Recreation, Paul Derda. Known as the “Director of Fun” for his promotion of Broomfield Days and other community events, Derda retired in 2001 after serving 21 years as director.

Brady Blackburn, the 14-year-old son of Steve Blackburn, principal-in-charge of the project for Barker Rinker Seacat, was responsible for one of the recreation center’s most unique water features, a “river water slide” that flows within the 12,000-sf natatorium to channel and conserve water.

While on a family camping trip in the mountains, Brady told his father the nearby stream with rushing water and boulders should be re-created indoors for kids to play in year-round. Steve asked Brady to share the idea with the Broomfield design and planning teams, which endorsed the concept.

“The design of the natatorium allows community members to feel as if they are a part of the nature,” says Craig Bouck, principal/project manager for Barker Rinker Seacat. “The water slide was constructed to look like a rock formation that runs into a lake. This community was very conscientious about conserving water, so each water feature was designed to recycle without waste.”

Other features of the center in this northwest corridor community include an indoor playground and a computer-controlled outdoor water spray area that uses recycled water. There is a gymnastic center, walking/jogging track, rock climbing wall, two aerobic dance studios, babysitting and tot activity rooms, party and meeting rooms, an outdoor sundeck, cardiovascular fitness and strength training areas and family locker rooms.

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