04-20-22 | Feature

A Very Good Year

Landscape Architecture by Kimley-Horn
by Staff

A study conducted by the City of Goodyear, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, found that residents strongly supported the creation of recreational opportunities and maintaining and improving parks. From this sprang the city's aspiration for a recreation campus. The landscape architecture and master planning for the 40-acre area was entrusted to Kimley-Horn, who put Marissa Pellegrini, PLA, ASLA, in charge as the lead Landscape Architect. The firm was also tasked with public involvement and the site's civil, utility, traffic, roadway, electrical and drainage engineering.
Multi-tiered and inclusive, the playground has areas dedicated for ages 2-5 and 5-12. Slopes of artificial turf were enhanced with slides and climbers. The play equipment was from Landscape Structures.
The playground also features shade structures, a zipline, a circle swing and a multi-level tower with a bridge for kids of all abilities and interests. Because of perimeter parking, pedestrian pathways were a critical part of the design; giving visitors safe connectivity to the various amenities including the group ramada. There, each sperate shaded area, with an accompanying barbecue, a counter with a sink and two picnic tables, allows families to have small gatherings.
Two acres of the allotted space was dedicated to the aquatics facility that includes a 25-yard, 8-lane competition pool, a leisure pool, a lazy river, a separate 27-foot-high dual slide tower along with a perimeter of shaded cabana areas.
One of the most interesting areas is the art plaza with its 32-foot-high kinetic sculpture named Chasing the Stars, which was designed and fabricated by Joe O'Connell and his company Creative Machines. To add further interest to the multi-tiered plaza, the vibrant paving is made of concrete.
The Chasing the Stars sculpture can be powered by wind or human interaction. When the wind motivates it, the sculpture's six arms revolve on a linked axis. When there is no wind, visitors can set off kinetic movement by pulling on its tethers. During the day, the sun shines through the translucent arms, casting colorful shadows on its base. At night, LED lights focused upwards reflect off of small mirrors underneath the arms, generating colorful light and shadows on the surroundings.
Plantings featured drought-tolerant agaves, yuccas and desert willows.
Also included in the design is a zero-depth water play splash ground featuring aquatics play equipment from Vortex Aquatic.
Seven acres of open turf, two baseball fields, sport courts, and a one-mile perimeter, multi-use pathway add to this this park's appeal.

The City of Goodyear, Arizona, has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. In 2014, the Phoenix suburb completed their systemwide Parks and Recreation Master Plan which identified support for recreation-based programming and facility needs through community outreach and surveys. The most recent citizen's survey documents showed strong support of the city in continuing to provide recreational opportunities (73%) and maintaining and improving parks (85%).

The city continues to raise the bar in providing superior service through diverse recreation-based programing, offering the community a high quality of life that is reflected in the city's growth. In 2018, the city completed the Recreation Campus Master Plan which included robust community and stakeholder engagement. The project included stakeholder interviews, focus group meetings with user groups, and three community workshops to further validate the support for recreation-based programming and facility needs.

The Goodyear Recreation Campus is like no other as it was inspired, envisioned, and designed by the community, for the community. Home to the city's first recreation center, it provides something for everyone - all ages, abilities, and interests! The 40-acre campus includes a 30-acre community park, a 48,000-square-foot recreation center and aquatic facility. The two-story recreation center includes a teen room, multi-use gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, fitness areas, and an indoor walking track.

The two-acre aquatics facility includes a 25-yard, eight lane competition pool for open swim, classes, and swim meets while the leisure pool provides a zero-depth water play "splashground" and a perimeter lazy river. The deck also includes a separate 27-foot-high dual slide tower along with a perimeter of shaded cabana areas. The 30-acre community park provides seven acres of open turf, two baseball fields, art plaza, sport courts, inclusive playground, group ramada, and one-mile perimeter multi-use pathway.

The Goodyear Recreation Campus opened to the public on July 3rd, 2021 with great community excitement and enthusiasm attracting over 46,000 visits in the first two weeks. In addition, more than 8,000 passes have been issued.

The vision for the project was to create an integrated campus shaped by the community that includes a recreation center and aquatics facility within the park. The success of the project was dependent on these three elements all speaking to one another to fully integrate the community's experience within the recreation campus.

The project included an artist during the initial master plan as the city wanted to incorporate art from the project outset rather than being an afterthought. The design team welcomed this approach and worked together to develop a "kaleidoscope" theme that cascades through all parts of the campus inside and out. The goal was to create a user experience that provides a sense of discovery as the campus design utilizes shade, light, and color in a whimsical way to offer a new experience with each visit. The campus utilizes a compression and release approach to the park layout, resulting in flexible use of space for multiple levels of programing and different scales of community events.

For example, the multi-tiered art plaza can provide an intimate experience while the stage can be utilized for a larger event within the event lawn or multi-use field area. The group ramada provides a place for intimate family gatherings or larger scale celebrations while surrounded by a dynamic activity area featuring playgrounds, open turf, and sport courts. Pedestrian pathways were critical in the layout of this 40-acre project resulting in perimeter parking to allow users safe connectivity amongst all amenities.

At the heart of the campus is the art plaza-home to Chasing the Stars- one of the world's largest human powered interactive kinetic sculptures standing 32 feet tall. The sculpture allows users to work together to activate the six arms through ropes and pulleys to provide a changing display of light through motion.

"The world is much bigger than us and the arms can be both orderly and chaotic-like the universe itself-and they push back as much as you push on them," stated Joe O'Connell, the founder of Creative Machines, which designed and fabricated the sculpture.

The multi-tiered art plaza, utilizing colored concrete to create a vibrant centerpiece for the park, was inspired by the kaleidoscopic theme, and the continually moving Chasing the Stars creates color and shadow in the plaza that cannot be duplicated.

The multi-tiered destination playground includes inclusive play elements and dedicated play areas for ages 2-5 and 5-12. The shaded artificial turf slope delivers an experience for the whole family including opportunities for hillside slides, a concrete family slide, and climbers for kids of all ages, abilities, and interests. The playground also features a multi-level tower with a bridge, a zipline play structure, and a circle swing.

The site orientation of the recreation center building and aquatics area has optimized the sun angles with building facades and overhangs to provide daylight throughout the building without direct sunlight exposure. The building utilizes a polychromatic material which changes colors throughout the day depending on your approach and viewing angles. The multi-purpose room, gymnasium, and elevated walking track areas all experience several grand vistas from the building out to the Estrella Mountains and White Tank Mountains.

The Goodyear Recreation Campus encompassed six capital improvement projects which included: a recreation center, aquatics facility, 30-acre park, and offsite and infrastructure improvements. Goodyear leveraged various funding mechanisms in order to bring the $67M project to fruition. These mechanisms included impact fees, GO Bonds, and General Fund dollars. The project also included funding for public art through a dedicated allocation via the Capital Improvement Plan. Construction Manager at Risk was utilized to deliver the project, allowing for the use of multiple guaranteed maximum price contracts therefore enabling the contractor, Hunter Contracting Co., to begin construction early for infrastructure improvements.

In addition to capital funding, Goodyear City Council supported an operational cost recovery of 12-14% resulting in affordable pass rates for residents, thus reducing financial barriers for access to the facility. Furthermore, in celebration of Goodyear's 75th anniversary, residents were offered $75 family passes.
The project team's robust outreach effort, inclusive approach, and intentional design will allow the Goodyear Recreation Campus to serve as the city's ultimate gathering place, positively impacting generations to come.

Lead Landscape Architect: Marissa Pellegrini, PLA, ASLA, Kimley-Horn
Landscape Architecture: Kimley-Horn (Prime Consultant)
Master Planning: Kimley-Horn
Public Involvement: Kimley-Horn
Civil, Utility, Traffic, Roadway, Electrical, Drainage Engineering: Kimley-Horn
Architecture: DWL Architects
Aquatics: Water Technology, Inc.
Irrigation: Aqua Engineering, Inc.
Building Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing: Kimley-Horn
Building Structural: Caruso Turley Scott
IT: I2 Technology
Geotechnical Engineering: Ricker, Atkinson, McBee, Morman & Associates, Inc.
Surveying/Aerial Mapping: RLF Consulting


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