Turning pond scum into a community jewel
Searching for an ideal location for a new community center and park, the city of El Paso, Texas, selected an unlikely spot: a detention pond that was riddled with crime and ignored by the development community. The city challenged the Building Team to turn the 100-acre detention basin on the west side of town into its new Westside Community Park and Recreation Center. The team, which included local architect Parkhill, Smith & Cooper and landscape architect Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Arlington, Texas, responded with a plan that included a 30,000-sf recreation center, picnic pavilion, concession building, soccer field, two practice baseball fields, lighted basketball court, trail system, and several competitive ballfields. Design features also include extensive use of native rock, colored bands in the concrete paving, and a dual-arched entrance feature.