LOOK: Colfax’s new rec center is finally ready for you

The new center is situated on East Colfax Avenue between Josephine Street and East High School, a neighborhood that Deputy Mayor Happy Hanes said had “a gap in services for many years.” The plan, she said, was officially initiated by a recreation needs assessment in 2005.

The lap pool inside the Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Water pours from a giant bucket over a splash pad. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Water pours from a giant bucket over a splash pad. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Carla Madison Recreation Center, which has been in the works for more than a decade, finally earned a ribbon cutting on Monday afternoon. The four-story, 67,000-square-foot castle of swimming pools, barbells and shiny wooden floors is now open to facilitate your recreation.

The new center is situated on East Colfax Avenue between Josephine Street and East High School, a neighborhood that Deputy Mayor Happy Hanes said had “a gap in services for many years.” The plan, she said, was officially initiated by a recreation needs assessment in 2005.

The lap pool inside the Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
The lap pool from a diving-board’s-eye view. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denverites now have access to eight lanes of lap swimming, two diving boards, an in-pool rock wall, a splash pad (complete with a giant bucket overlord), a water slide, a gym for volleyball and basketball, exercise studios, a large weight room and a rooftop patio with a heck of a view.

Carla Madison is a “regional recreation center,” which means it costs $6 or less for a day pass (depending on how old you are) and as much as $332.10 for a year membership. The city has a guide to pricing on the parks and rec website. It’s open seven days a week.

A water slide, splashpad and lazy river. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
A water slide, splash pad and lazy river. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Shiny new basketball courts. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Shiny new basketball courts. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A spin class room. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
A spin classroom. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Workout space. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Workout space. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Deputy Mayor Allegra "Happy" Haynes kicks off the Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center's opening ceremony, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Deputy Mayor Allegra “Happy” Haynes kicks off the Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center’s opening ceremony. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Mayor Michael Hancock cuts a ribbon with standard-issue-giant-golden scissors. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Mayor Michael Hancock cuts a ribbon with standard-issue giant golden scissors. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A large crowd has gathered for the ribbon cutting. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
A large crowd has gathered for the ribbon cutting. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
There's also a heck of a view from the rooftop patio. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
There’s also a heck of a view from the rooftop patio. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
There's also a heck of a view from the rooftop patio. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
There’s also a heck of a view from the rooftop patio. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
There is a climbing wall inside of one of the pools. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
There is a climbing wall inside of one of the pools. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A water slide, splashpad and lazy river. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
A water slide, splash pad and lazy river. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Fresh paint outside locker rooms. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Fresh paint outside locker rooms. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A passer-by peers into the Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center on opening day, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
A passer-by peers into a Colfax-facing window. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Those balloons might be heading for two points each. The Carla Madison Central Denver Rec Center is now open, Jan. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) carla madison rec center; parks and rec; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; recreation;
Those balloons might be heading for two points each. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Kevin Beaty

Author: Kevin Beaty

Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video. Find him on Twitter and Instagram at @kevinjbeaty.