The Apex Simms Street Center, 11706 W. 82nd Ave., has undergone more than a decade of transformation, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Apex Park and Recreation District, the City of Arvada, Jefferson County Open Space, the Apex PRD Foundation, and the northwest metro-area pickleball community. The facility now offers a mix of scheduled programs, drop-in activities, active and passive community recreation that appeals to all ages and interests.
Apex Park and Recreation District began offering a limited number of programs there when the building’s former occupants decided to expand and move to a new location. They needed time to prepare their new space, and meanwhile, they leased part of the building to Apex PRD.
In November 2011, the center underwent major improvements to become the new headquarters for arts, gymnastics, dance and cheerleading, some of the district’s most popular and well-attended programs. Since then, attendance has increased steadily; in fact, in the 2016 winter/spring session, participant numbers for gymnastics, dance and cheerleading were higher than at any other time in the district’s 60-year history.
Summer 2016 saw a number of upgrades to the interior, starting with a spacious and attractive new lobby. There’s now plenty of room to move around, register, check out the center’s offerings and view participants’ artwork. Nearby is the relocated dance studio and viewing area for parents and families. In the original dance studio space, there’s a new preschool gymnastics room for ages 2-5, a friendly drop-in space for little ones to play in their own environment separate from the main gymnastics area.
Another great new feature is the party room, where kids can enjoy treats and activities in an area separate from the gymnastics studio. This addition enhances the festive experience and allows for more parties to be scheduled on weekends.
Programs and participants are also growing in the Janice G. Eckhardt pottery studio. Pottery also relocated to the Apex Simms Street Center in November 2011, and since that time, fused glass and other youth and adult arts and crafts have been added to the program offering. Next on the agenda is a “dry” art room— classes and programs for media besides clay and fused glass. Construction on this room is slated for completion in early 2017.
Work is also underway on a drop-in fitness room for youth and adults. Last but not least, the Apex Simms Street Center will add a gym, offering greater convenience and much-needed space for sports activities. Both of these features are on track for completion in 2017. “The gym will help ease the pressure on other facilities and help the district to provide another quality venue for popular programs,” said Carrie Gomer, Apex Simms Street Center manager.
The dry art room, fitness room and gym, along with storage and administrative areas, comprise the final build-out of the center. “Anticipating needs and working with the community has made this project successful for the long term, and our growing numbers really attest to that,” Gomer added.
Moving outside the center, the theme of growth and long-term success continues. Construction is moving forward for the third set of eight pickleball courts, bringing the total to 24 when the project is completed later this year. The first set of eight courts opened in November 2013, followed by eight more, plus restrooms and a gazebo, in October 2014. In early 2016, the Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee awarded the district an additional matching grant to build the third set of eight courts and finish the landscaping on Community Heroes Park, where the outdoor pickleball complex is situated. All three phases of construction were made possible through pooling of multiple community resources.
“As with the inside portion of the Apex Simms Street Center, collaboration made this dream a reality,” Gomer said. “We now have a facility with a dynamic mix of drop-in and programmed activities. It meets many needs and will continue to do so for the future.”
Post expires on December 30, 2016
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Apex Park and Recreation District (Apex PRD) in Arvada, CO, has a wide range of public parks and recreation facilities that offer such activities as pickleball, tennis, golf, swimming, and much more. Founded in 1956, Apex PRD supports adult fitness and kids health for those in Arvada, Denver, Wheat Ridge, Golden, and beyond. Have questions or comments for Apex Park and Recreation District? Use our Contact Us page.