Marion YMCA & Community Rec Center

Marion, Iowa
Construction Cost: $17 million
Area / Square Feet: 86,000 SF
Occupancy Date: January 2021

Community connection, transparency and wellness were the primary drivers for this new multigenerational recreation and fitness facility. Designed as a holistic community and wellness center, the new facility connects both figuratively and literally with its site. The parti is three simple parallel bars wrapped in precast concrete and metal panels, each terminating in views to the community and athletic fields. The bars are punctuated by a double-height, curtainwall-wrapped lobby that both intersects and unites the building’s primary program functions. 

The central lobby welcomes visitors and doubles as a community gathering space. Upon entering, patrons visually connect to all primary spaces: the pool, childcare and community rooms, group fitness areas, and the gymnasium and track. Dual kiosk stations replace the traditional large reception desk to remove the barrier between staff and user while also clearly defining the space and entry sequence. 

A large social stair provides additional space for gathering. A powerful statement about community, the stair encourages users to pause and interact with one another. It also provides a direct visual and circulation path to the second-level fitness floor, running track and group fitness rooms. Connection between the upper and lower levels is also created by overlooks along the track that allow for parents to observe activity in the gym below without disrupting runners and walkers. The fully accessible competition pool, hot tub and family pool also have direct views to the exterior and are visible from the lobby and second-level fitness floor. The highly efficient circulation, window-to-wall ratio and simple building massing maximize space and programming in a naturally lit and community-centered recreation wellness facility that drew more than 2,000 new members in its opening month.


OPN Architects

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Water’s Edge

Lenexa, Kan.


Racquetball/Squash Courts - Court Panels/Glass Walls

A-Best Enterprises

Pools - Water Play Features


Pools - Chemical Control Systems

BECS Technology Inc.

Fitness Center - Flooring, Fitness Center


Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Lighting


Pools - Lighting


Pools - Sanitization Systems


Pools - Lane Markers

Competitor Swim

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Basketball

Connor Sports

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Multipurpose

Connor Sports

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Racquetball/Squash Courts

Connor Sports

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Volleyball

Connor Sports

Locker/Shower - Flooring

Dal-Tile Corp. 

Pools - Deck/Basin Surface

Dal-Tile Corp. 

Pools - Gutters


Pools - Filtration Systems


Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Basketball Backboards/Supports

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Divider Curtains

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Floor Covers

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Wall Padding

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Scoreboards/Timing Systems

Fair-Play Scoreboards

Locker/Shower - Shower/Toilet Partitions

General Partitions Mfg. Corp.

Fitness Center - Entertainment Systems


Locker/Shower - Lockers

Lyon Workspace Products

Fitness Center - Assessment & Monitoring Equipment


Fitness Center - Cardiovascular Equipment


Fitness Center - Free-Weight Equipment


Fitness Center - Strength Equipment


Fitness Center - Climbing Walls


Fitness Center - Flooring, Aerobics

Robbins Sports Surfaces

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Track

Robbins Sports Surfaces

Pools - Heaters


Pools - Dehumidifiers


Pools - Ladders/Grab Bars

Spectrum Aquatics

Pools - Starting Blocks

Spectrum Aquatics

Locker/Shower - Swimsuit Extractors

SUITMATE by Extractor Corp.

Pools - Climbing Wall