The Olathe Community Center was designed to be an iconic, timeless and durable facility that creates a sense of place and pride within the community. Programming includes a triple-court gymnasium, elevated jogging track, an indoor aquatics center, a fitness center, an aerobics dance studio, three group exercise studios, lockers, family changing rooms, community rooms, a catering kitchen, party rooms, a child watch area and an indoor playground.
The unique geography of Northeastern Kansas is represented in the layering of horizontal elements within the facility, as well as material patterns and colors throughout. Perceived motion and sweeping lines weave throughout the design, from the sweeping roofline to the circular paving patterning in the exterior plaza. The same patterning serves as distraction marks on the glass between the aerobics room and track.
A water-is-life element appears throughout the facility and culminates in the natatorium. The “Day in the Park” themed aquatics area features oversized caterpillars, water-spraying sunflowers, waterfalls and climbing. A 25-yard, four-lane lap and wellness pool features a climbing wall and platform jumping. Dynamic, ceiling-mounted play features and an interactive water table at the base of a children’s treehouse encourage learning and group play.
Unique to the Olathe Community Center is an art program that aims to increase attendance at and renown of the center. This effort served to help build regional culture through the creation of a collection that works well with the architecture, resonates sophistication and invigorates public involvement. Another unique innovation is the installation of the city’s first Go Library kiosk, allowing library patrons to check out and return library material at the community center.