East Library and Recreation Center

Arlington, Texas
Construction Cost: $21.4 million
Area / Square Feet: 47,249 SF
Occupancy Date: November 2020

Not just co-located, but co-operated. Those directives from the City of Arlington, Texas, formed the foundation for the East Library and Recreation Center at Bob Cooke Park. 

A previous economic redevelopment study heavily influenced the design approach in the East Arlington area known as the New York Avenue Corridor. The study encouraged a “retro” and “international” style for the area, driven by a local midcentury modern aesthetic with a contemporary flair. As the first major post-study municipal structure realized in the defined area, the design team needed to help the city achieve the desired look. 

The innovative project combined the Hugh Smith Recreation Center and east branch library into one facility. Understanding each amenity’s operations was paramount in designing the project because its recreation and library components share common areas and program spaces. The design team helped city staff navigate the decision-making process regarding the uncharted waters created by the innovative operational model. The original building program was reconciled to fit the budget and the site planning re-imagined the to expedite project delivery and dramatically reduce interruption of services. 

Inspired by 1950s architecture and automotive design cues, a contemporary building was imagined that respects the site’s history and its own point in time. The strong curving form of the library juxtaposed with the orthogonal recreation spaces reconcile the compatible importance of each — and the difference in their relative footprints. The result is a unifying facility in function and cultural inclusion, rooted in history and looking forward.


Brinkley Sargent Wiginton

Dallas, Texas


Hidell and Associates

Carrolton, Texas



St. Louis, Mo.


Locker/Shower - Shower/Toilet Partitions

Accurate Partitions

Pools - Chemical Control Systems


Pools - Lane Markers


Pools - Water Play Features


Pools - Chemical Control Systems

BECS Technology Inc.

Building Systems - Skylights


Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Bleachers/Grandstands

Built Rite Bleachers

Locker/Shower - Lockers

Columbia Lockers

Pools - Scoreboard/Timing Systems

Competitor Swim

Pools - Deck/Basin Surface

Concrete Fan Finish

Indoor Sports Surfaces - Basketball

Connor Sports

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Scoreboards/Timing Systems


Locker/Shower - Flooring

Dal-Tile Corp. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Basketball Backboards/Supports

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Divider Curtains

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Volleyball Nets and Standards

Draper Inc. 

Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Wall Padding

Draper Inc. 

Pools - Cleaners/Vacuums


Pools - Heaters

Lochinvar Heaters

Pools - Filtration Systems

Neptune Benson/Evoqua Water Technologies

Pools - Gutters

Neptune Benson/Evoqua Water Technologies

Pools - Lighting


Pools - Dehumidifiers


Gymnasium/Field House/Arena - Lighting


Pools - Ladders/Grab Bars

Spectrum Aquatics

Locker/Shower - Swimsuit Extractors

SUITMATE by Extractor Corp.

Pools - Water Play Features