AURORA | Aurora lawmakers and Mayor Mike Coffman broke ground Thursday on a glitzy new recreation center, funded with marijuana tax revenues, expected to open in the city’s growing southeast corner in early 2023.
When the long-awaited, 62,000 square foot rec center opens, locals will not only have access to Aurora’s first public gym in the area — they’ll zip down a waterslide and enjoy an array of amenities.
“I have told a couple of council members that, when it opens, we will go down that slide,” Councilmember Francoise Bergan, who represents the area, told the Sentinel.
The Southeast Recreation Center will have the works: weightlifting gyms, cardio equipment, pools, a raised running and walking track, lounges, patios viewing Aurora Reservoir and the Rockies, outdoor workout spaces and more. It’ll be an eyecatching facility designed to blend with the local grassland environment, Bergan said.
All told, it’s a $42 million project funded by city tax revenues collected from marijuana dispensaries. It’ll occupy a patch of city land at 25400 E. Alexander Drive, just south of Infinity Middle School and east of Harvest Road.
Bergan said that, after she was elected in 2015, area residents complained en masse about flocking to nearby Parker or Centennial for public gym opportunities. The closest of Aurora’s major rec centers, the Central Recreation Center at 18150 E. Vassar Pl., will be about a 15 minute drive from the new gym without traffic.
Bergan said the gym is an “amenity that was needed for our families and our residents.”
She joined Coffman and councilmembers Juan Marcano and Alison Coombs for a ground-breaking and photo opportunity Thursday. All donned masks.
The Southeast Recreation Center is the latest public project in the neighborhood. In December, officials quietly opened Tollgate Crossing Neighborhood Park in far southeast Aurora. And Bergan says there’s likely more to come in the growing area; she floated ideas to build another sports park complex and add a “field house” near the forthcoming gym.