The original West Mesa Community Center was originally designed as a senior center. It was functionally outdated for its current purpose as a general use community center. It had little natural light and was very small. Cherry/See/Reames conducted studies to determine whether to demolish and build new, remodel extensively and add on, or remodel somewhat and add on extensively. The Owner decided to demolish and build new.
The new center provides a central reception desk that can supervise the north and south entrances. Activity spaces can also be viewed through glass corridor walls. The building has numerous energy and water saving features. It is naturally day-lit with south-facing clerestories that control direct sun while admitting light. The west wall has few openings to protect from the harsh afternoon sun.
The community center design includes a mini gym, meeting rooms, a small kitchen, a craft room with kiln and storage, game room, fitness room, classrooms, computer room, library and offices. The building is broken into separate boxes defined by the colors from exterior to interior. The acoustics in these larger volume spaces are kept in check by the perforated undulating metal paneling on the ceiling. The little holes allow the sound to be absorbed into the panels so not as much bounces back.
Drought tolerant plants were planted to reduce the need for irrigation. Automatic faucets and low-flow toilet fixtures were provided in the restrooms to reduce the water waste in a public facility. On-site drainage retention allows rain water to return to the aquifer.
Maintaining a tight schedule was essential with this project so that the Grand Opening could happen on time. Cherry/See/Reames and the contractor paid close attention to the details and were conscientious about the Client’s needs.