Designed to fit the farmhouse style favored by Erie Commons planners, the new Erie Community Center’s large exterior is broken up into components, creating a more human-scaled expression. Warm-toned block masonry in complementary colors and textures creates the building’s base, while synthetic wood clapboard and board-and-batten siding in natural earth tones clad its community wing. Through screen-printed recreational activity graphics on the exterior, passersby are given an opportunity to glimpse current activities in the facility.
Amenities include a multipurpose classroom, a catering kitchen, a babysitting room, and teen and senior activity rooms in the community wing. The recreation wing places most weight and fitness equipment above the locker rooms on the mezzanine level. A gymnasium accommodates basketball or volleyball, while two racquetball courts and a group exercise room stand adjacent to a climbing pinnacle at the end of the fitness atrium. Views of the mountains to the west, the leisure pool, the lobby and the fitness atrium provide joggers with engaging views.
The building incorporates several sustainable design strategies, including the installation of hydronic solar collectors (for preheating pool water) and high-efficiency boilers, as well as the use of recycled and regional materials. Low-E glass, waterless urinals and motion-detecting fluorescent lights were also specified. The pool’s regenerative media filter reduces water usage by an estimated 325,000 gallons per year.