Northern Regional Recreation Center

Cornelius, North Carolina
Construction Cost: $37.8 million
Area / Square Feet: 88,000
Occupancy Date: June 2022

The towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville came together to design a community recreation center in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Architects worked with the three town mayors, town commissioners, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation officials, as well as school district representatives, environmental groups and other stakeholders from Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville to design a shared community center that reflected the values and unique identities of each town. Ultimately, the goal was to ensure the facility felt like β€œhome” for each town represented. 

Architects designed an extensive community outreach process to hear from current townspeople about their values and desires for a new facility. The resulting site master plan and building design includes a multisport gymnasium, two health/wellness/fitness centers, a walking/ jogging track, an indoor leisure pool, an eight-lane indoor competition pool, community meeting rooms, classrooms, dedicated active adult spaces, a child watch area, administrative offices, a kitchen, a greenhouse, a nature play meadow, a picnic shelter, a community garden and parking. 

During the feasibility phase, the architectural team provided multiple design options to facilitate a decision regarding the preferred siting of the building within the 41-acre site. Ultimately, the client preferred to place the building close to the highway for greater visibility. Glass facades with exciting views into the aquatics portion of the facility draw the interest of passersby and greet patrons as they enter the site.

Architect of Record


Charlotte, N.C.

Associate Architect

Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture

Denver, Colo.

Aquatic Consultant/Engineer


Des Peres, Mo.


Pools - ADA LiftsAqua Creek Products

Pools - Cleaners/VacuumsAquabot (bought by Fluidra)
Pools - Water Play FeaturesAvalanche Waterslides
Pools - Sanitization SystemsBECS Technology

Pools - Circulation PumpsMarlow
Pools - Circulation PumpsNeptune-Benson
Pools - Filtration SystemsNeptune-Benson
Pools - HeatersRaypak
Pools - Ladders/Grab BarsSpectrum Aquatics

Pools - Circulation PumpsXylem
Pools - Filtration SystemsXylem
Indoor Sports Surfaces - MultipurposeAction Floor Systems LLC

Pools - Water Play FeaturesAvalanche Waterslides
Pools - Scoreboard/Timing SystemsColorado Time Systems

Pools - Diving BoardsSpectrum Aquatics

Pools - Water Play FeaturesVortex