Campbell County Recreation Center

Gillette, Wyoming

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative in Denver

Size: 184,322 square feet

Project Cost: $51.9 million

Quick Tour:

  • 3 racquetball courts/1 squash conversion court
  • 3 regulation basketball/volleyball courts
  • 3 group exercise rooms
  • Climbing wall
  • Walk/jog track
  • Lap/exercise pool
  • Separate recreation and athlete locker rooms; assisted changing rooms
  • Fieldhouse with 200-meter competitive running track and long jump pits
  • Café
  • Kids play area

Located in the energy-rich boom town of Gillette, Wyo., the Campbell County Parks and Recreation District recognized as far back as 2005 that the existing program was not meeting needs. Population growth had created a demand for services that could not be met at the county's aging facility. The school district was likewise challenged, and a feasibility study determined that a new facility, with the two entities partnering, would be the best option.

The new center adds space for fitness and group exercise, as well as both an exercise/lap pool and an indoor play pool. On top of this, the school district now has an exemplary multipurpose training and events venue with state-of-the-art timing and public address systems.

Many cost savings were realized simply through combining the two entity's agendas into a single building and site. It allowed the team to maximize program space for each dollar invested. But this wasn't the only cost-saving measure taken. Land was donated by the City of Gillette for the project, and some of the building's features also help save money: enclosure of the indoor, multi-sports venue with the use of simple framing system; an efficient space plan that eliminates most corridors; elimination of systems duplication by designing one plant for the whole facility; a durable, low-cost membrane "faux" standing seam roof; suspension of air handling units in high ceiling volume areas to eliminate the need for mechanical penthouses; and a reciprocal parking agreement that minimized the need for on-site parking construction.

The Devil's Tower National Monument, a mere 60 miles away, served as an inspirational icon and was woven into a centerpiece for the facility that reinforces a sense of place and the surrounding region. The 45-foot replica climbing wall ascends within the lobby above the exterior entry canopy to pique the interest of guests and members alike as they approach the front desk.

The angular and ever-shifting local landscape is the source of visual inspiration for the forms of the Campbell County Recreation Center. The canted and curving plan elements and counter sloping roofs recall rock formations that rise from the floor of the plains and break down large masses into smaller, exciting components. The extensive use of metals with subtle color, textural and pattern shifts is a reflection of the community's eye to the future. Solid surfaces are interrupted by chasms of glass that showcase key features, invite users in from the street and flood interiors with light. Outside, the structure is readily visible from 360 degrees, so great care was given to every elevation to ensure it generated interest and excitement while providing visual cues about the inner workings of each element.

Internally, view corridors create a transparency effect that connects and celebrates the spirit of partnership between the recreation and school districts. The result is a visually compelling experience from all vantage points of a center that hums with activity.


A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Structural: Kirk & Young Structural Engineers

Mechanical/Plumbing: The Ballard Group Inc.

Electrical: Architectural Engineering Design Group Inc.

Civil Engineer/Surveyor: WWC Engineering

Soils: Terracon Consultants Inc.

Landscape Architect: Design Studios West

Interior Design: Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative

General Contractor: Layton Construction

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