Award Winner - May 2009
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A Healthy Community Unites

Gladstone Community Center
Gladstone, Mo.

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Gould Evans
of Kansas City, Mo.

Size: 84,000 square feet

Project Cost: $19.4 million

Quick Tour:
Recreation Area:

  • Dual modified court gymnasium
  • Running track
  • 6,500-square-foot fitness area
  • Two aerobics/dance studios


  • 3,100-square-foot leisure pool
  • Eight-lane competition pool
  • Competition diving well with four warm-up lanes
  • Seating for 1,500
  • Concessions

Community Civic Area:

  • Dividable multipurpose rooms
  • Classrooms
  • Catering kitchen
  • Party rooms
  • Game room
  • Children's play room
  • Child watch room

Administrative Area:

  • Front desk
  • Staff offices
  • Parking for 250


estled on a 5.6-acre site, the Gladstone Community Recreation Center and Natatorium provides incredible opportunities for citizens and visitors to celebrate health and community. Uniting the community in health at its completion, the center's development also served to unite the community. The City of Gladstone partnered with the North Kansas City School District to complete the project, providing even greater community integration through local school involvement and investment. Even the center's $50,000 art budget embraces the community, with art from local and regional artists and a focus on ensuring diversity.

Completed in February 2008, the new 84,000-square-foot facility brings community meeting and social function space, combined with indoor recreation, fitness facilities and one of the largest swim centers in the region, to a community that was looking for these amenities.

Beyond serving community functions, the center also serves the physical health of the community through its fitness facilities, including a gymnasium, running track, a 6,500-square-foot fitness area and two aerobics/dance studios. The natatorium was designed to accommodate regional and state swim meets, with an eight-lane competition pool and diving well. Showcasing the combination of community members who will use the facility, the natatorium also features a 3,100-square-foot leisure pool.

The layout of the facility allows for public spaces at the main entry corridor and to the south, while "pay" areas are accessible at the control desk. To further control traffic through the facility, two entries were created to keep competitive swimming from interfering with the remainder of the facility during meets.

Primarily a precast concrete structure with hollow-core floors and a steel frame roof, the facility utilizes generous amounts of insulated glazing to provide natural daylight throughout. The building's form is simple in appearance, designed as a box with the outside corners changing in elevation to add dynamic flare to the movement of the building. The undulating precast façade combined with the dynamic elevation changes creates a visually rich exterior.

Not only does the center offer opportunities for healthy activity inside, but it also incorporates innovative green design and building performance techniques to set a strong sustainable example that is healthy for the planet as well as the occupants. Energy-efficient mechanical and electrical equipment, along with a skin that provides a complete thermal envelope around the building, reduce energy consumption, which lowers operating costs for the City.

The center has already demonstrated a major impact on the surrounding area. Because of the unique community partnerships involved, both the City of Gladstone and the North Kansas City School District were able to exceed their expectations for the project.


W H A T   T H E   J U D G E S   S A I D

Excellent use of precast elements and glazing on the exterior façades

Colleen McKenna

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Associate Architect:

Ankeny Kell Architects

Construction Manager:

McCown Gordon Construction

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