Currents Center for Recreation and Creativity

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WAYS TO ENGAGE

View the draft conceptual design!

Thank you for your feedback and input on the draft conceptual design. To view the results of the public opinion survey and the most up-to-date conceptual designs, please click here.

To review background information and how the project got to this point, please click here.

This site will continue to be updated until December 1. If you would like to receive project updates, please sign up at the REGISTER link at the right.











A community hub supporting social, emotional, and physical health

The Vision

  • A flexible, multi-use space to support healthy lifestyles in an equitable, multigenerational, and inclusive atmosphere.

  • Space for inclusive recreational and social programs for all ages, income, and ability levels.
  • Connecting people of all backgrounds, offering diverse program and recreation opportunities, and growing a stronger, more equitable community.
  • A safe, year-round environment.

Guiding Principles

  • We value Missoula as a diverse community and the Community Center should reflect that diversity.
  • We believe in a Missoula Community Center that is welcoming to all generations, ethnicities, cultures, races, genders, and sexual identities.
  • We believe the Community Center should be accessible to people of all abilities.
  • We believe the Community Center must be affordable to all in terms of building the Center, maintaining the Center, and using the Center.
  • We believe in a Community Center where users and visitors will see and experience intentional design related to the arts, culture, creativity, recreation, and social gathering.
  • We believe the Community Center should be an aesthetic that combines organic materials, acoustic sensitivity, and efficient use of space that is welcoming.
  • We believe the Missoula Community Center should appear modest rather than opulent. Missoula is a working community and the Center should create a welcome feeling.
  • We believe the Community Center should be enduring rather than trendy. The design needs to be adaptable – something that can be reworked over the coming decades.
  • We believe that fixed structures that restrict the use or accessibility of space diminish opportunities for multiple uses.
  • We believe the Community Center should be respectful of existing community services and amenities and integrate with them.
  • We believe in a Community Center that respects the planet and models climate change awareness and sustainability.

The Need

For decades, Missoulians have identified the need for expanded indoor recreation space to provide more opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle and come together as a community. The Missoula Community Center will expand on Currents Aquatics Center in McCormick Park to create a one-stop destination and is part of the McCormick Park Master Plan adopted by the City in 2003. Centrally located downtown and along the Riverfront Trail System, the community center will be accessible, inclusive and inviting.

  • Health and Wellness
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Cultural and Community Events
  • Team and Lifetime Sports

Take the Quick Poll at right to let us know how you would use the Currents Center!

The Master Plan

The Master Plan for the Currents Center for Recreation and Creativity represents the community's vision for the project and sets a course for future development. A comprehensive master plan allows the City to seek funding for project development via public and private partnerships, state and federal grants, developer impact fees, and the City budget.

The City of Missoula, in cooperation with community members, is undertaking a public process to complete the master plan for the Center.

Currents Aquatics Center, the first phase of the community center, opened in 2006. Designed to extend to the north of the Currents Aquatics Center, the community center's second phase will offer additional recreational facilities. More on the history and scope of the Center is available at missoulacommunitycenter.org.

Missoula Parks and Recreation, with the support of the Friends of Missoula Community Center (a citizen advocacy group), has continued efforts toward this important community goal as identified in 2000. A public process to advance the community center design with extensive public input has been developed.

Planning Process Product/Outcome

The final product of the planning process is a conceptual master plan prepared by the design consultant. The master plan will generally show the type, size, location, and spatial relationships of interior spaces, including essential amenities. Additional considerations will include support facilities, circulation throughout, and connections to the site. The plan will also include a report detailing implementation strategies to realize the adopted vision.

2021 Planning Process Timeline

The timeline for the planning process will continue to evolve as the planning process moves forward. Opportunities for public comment are in bold. Use the "Stay Informed" button at right for updates.

March – mid-June: Working Group Meetings 1 and 2

  • Prepare for public process and engagement.
  • Design Consultant Agreement executed.
  • Working group selected and begins meeting.
  • Stakeholder outreach, surveys, open house, and focus group meetings (Late-April through May).

Late June – mid-August

  • Design Consultant prepares draft plan based on input from the public, the Working Group and Technical Group.

September – November: Working Group Meetings 3 and 4

  • Working Group reviews the draft plan, including strategies for realizing the project.
  • Design Consultant finalizes proposed design and projected costs.
  • Host public open house(s) to review the final draft schematic design or master plan.
  • Design Consultant, Working Group, and Steering Committee present the final plan and cost/phasing report to Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, City Council and additional committees or boards as needed.

WAYS TO ENGAGE

View the draft conceptual design!

Thank you for your feedback and input on the draft conceptual design. To view the results of the public opinion survey and the most up-to-date conceptual designs, please click here.

To review background information and how the project got to this point, please click here.

This site will continue to be updated until December 1. If you would like to receive project updates, please sign up at the REGISTER link at the right.











A community hub supporting social, emotional, and physical health

The Vision

  • A flexible, multi-use space to support healthy lifestyles in an equitable, multigenerational, and inclusive atmosphere.

  • Space for inclusive recreational and social programs for all ages, income, and ability levels.
  • Connecting people of all backgrounds, offering diverse program and recreation opportunities, and growing a stronger, more equitable community.
  • A safe, year-round environment.

Guiding Principles

  • We value Missoula as a diverse community and the Community Center should reflect that diversity.
  • We believe in a Missoula Community Center that is welcoming to all generations, ethnicities, cultures, races, genders, and sexual identities.
  • We believe the Community Center should be accessible to people of all abilities.
  • We believe the Community Center must be affordable to all in terms of building the Center, maintaining the Center, and using the Center.
  • We believe in a Community Center where users and visitors will see and experience intentional design related to the arts, culture, creativity, recreation, and social gathering.
  • We believe the Community Center should be an aesthetic that combines organic materials, acoustic sensitivity, and efficient use of space that is welcoming.
  • We believe the Missoula Community Center should appear modest rather than opulent. Missoula is a working community and the Center should create a welcome feeling.
  • We believe the Community Center should be enduring rather than trendy. The design needs to be adaptable – something that can be reworked over the coming decades.
  • We believe that fixed structures that restrict the use or accessibility of space diminish opportunities for multiple uses.
  • We believe the Community Center should be respectful of existing community services and amenities and integrate with them.
  • We believe in a Community Center that respects the planet and models climate change awareness and sustainability.

The Need

For decades, Missoulians have identified the need for expanded indoor recreation space to provide more opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle and come together as a community. The Missoula Community Center will expand on Currents Aquatics Center in McCormick Park to create a one-stop destination and is part of the McCormick Park Master Plan adopted by the City in 2003. Centrally located downtown and along the Riverfront Trail System, the community center will be accessible, inclusive and inviting.

  • Health and Wellness
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Cultural and Community Events
  • Team and Lifetime Sports

Take the Quick Poll at right to let us know how you would use the Currents Center!

The Master Plan

The Master Plan for the Currents Center for Recreation and Creativity represents the community's vision for the project and sets a course for future development. A comprehensive master plan allows the City to seek funding for project development via public and private partnerships, state and federal grants, developer impact fees, and the City budget.

The City of Missoula, in cooperation with community members, is undertaking a public process to complete the master plan for the Center.

Currents Aquatics Center, the first phase of the community center, opened in 2006. Designed to extend to the north of the Currents Aquatics Center, the community center's second phase will offer additional recreational facilities. More on the history and scope of the Center is available at missoulacommunitycenter.org.

Missoula Parks and Recreation, with the support of the Friends of Missoula Community Center (a citizen advocacy group), has continued efforts toward this important community goal as identified in 2000. A public process to advance the community center design with extensive public input has been developed.

Planning Process Product/Outcome

The final product of the planning process is a conceptual master plan prepared by the design consultant. The master plan will generally show the type, size, location, and spatial relationships of interior spaces, including essential amenities. Additional considerations will include support facilities, circulation throughout, and connections to the site. The plan will also include a report detailing implementation strategies to realize the adopted vision.

2021 Planning Process Timeline

The timeline for the planning process will continue to evolve as the planning process moves forward. Opportunities for public comment are in bold. Use the "Stay Informed" button at right for updates.

March – mid-June: Working Group Meetings 1 and 2

  • Prepare for public process and engagement.
  • Design Consultant Agreement executed.
  • Working group selected and begins meeting.
  • Stakeholder outreach, surveys, open house, and focus group meetings (Late-April through May).

Late June – mid-August

  • Design Consultant prepares draft plan based on input from the public, the Working Group and Technical Group.

September – November: Working Group Meetings 3 and 4

  • Working Group reviews the draft plan, including strategies for realizing the project.
  • Design Consultant finalizes proposed design and projected costs.
  • Host public open house(s) to review the final draft schematic design or master plan.
  • Design Consultant, Working Group, and Steering Committee present the final plan and cost/phasing report to Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, City Council and additional committees or boards as needed.

Have a question about this project? What amenities would you like to see in the new Currents Center?

Please submit your comments and questions to Parks and Recreation Director Donna Gaukler.

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Are you considering making the pool 25-yards, instead of the current 20-yards? Before we spend millions on this truly awesome project, let's get the pool up to standard length to host local meets like most other major cities in MT with a public/private full length pool. This was a embarrassing mistake of the past aquatics bond.

    MHaislnut asked 3 months ago

    Currents Aquatic Center hosts a 20-yard lap pool because the priority goals for Currents are to serve those who exercise, are rehabilitating, learning to swim, and wish to play in the water. In 2002, an independent market feasibility study noted that Missoula was over-saturated with lap pools based on population and demand, and Currents' construction started in 2004.

    Competitive swimmers seek 25-yard or 50-meter pools with cool water. Currents' 20-yard lanes, warm water, zero-depth entry, and accessible/family-friendly locker rooms work perfectly for the large population of individuals whose needs are not met at traditional 25-yard pools where competition determines depth, water entry, and temperature.

    The Lake (50-meter) at Splash Montana is the premier lap pool in Missoula. Currents was specifically designed to avoid duplication of the services that are available at local health clubs, the YMCA, and Griz Pool.


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    What sort of accommodations are being made to make the building and it's activities more accessible to individuals with varying disabilities?

    Madison asked 3 months ago

    Similar to recent park development projects, such as Currents, Splash Montana, Silver Summit Playground, and Fort Missoula Regional Park, the City works to exceed the American’s With Disabilities Act. As funding becomes available to create the more detailed construction documents, we have historically reached out to Summit Independent Living Center and unique user groups to inform design. 

    A specific example of user informed design is Mac’s Playground at FMRP, where one restroom is auto flush and one is manual flush.  Both are gender-neutral, family-friendly, and exceed the ADA.  Why is one toilet automatic flush and one manual? Because some disabilities benefit from the auto flush while others experience sensory overload due to the auto flush. This is just one example of a unique design requested by the playground’s future users at the time of design.

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    How is parking being addressed in this plan if you are bringing in more people to the area?

    Ryan asked 10 months ago

    Great question, thanks for asking! There is an array of parking solutions being considered including nearby parking structures which are planned, but not yet constructed.  Additional considerations include nearby and adjacent surface parking. Of course, there will be an emphasis on any and all improvements for biking, walking and bussing to the Center similar to access to facilities at UM and the Civic Stadium.

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    Will you ask taxpayers to fund this? We can't afford our taxes now. How does this fit the Mayor's " affordable housing" mantra?

    Falling behind in Zootown asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your questions and comments, we'll be sure to share them with the Working Group.

    At this time funding is not being requested or considered. There will likely be numerous funding mechanisms. Regarding “affordable housing”, a public community center is accessible to all regardless of income and thus a very important public facility for physical, mental and social health. Often those who experience low or fixed incomes have very limited ability to be active during periods of smoke or during our long icy seasons.  A community center can provide access to meals, socialization, and wellness for all. 

    Please consider signing up for occasional project updates and opportunities for public comment at the top right.


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    I took the survey, but would like to reiterate the desire for a dance/theater space. I am returning home to Montana from NYC after a twenty year career in dance. The company I co-founded often created dances for large communities WITH those communities and ABOUT those communities (Akron, NYC, Westchester, Santa Barbara and more). I also taught dance (creative movement and dance making) to all ages. I would be thrilled to have community space to offer this for the Missoula community. Not just for kids. It would be nice to have another theater that can support up and coming directors, dancers, thespians, choreographers show their work. Workshops could be held to help them learn to produce their own work....exciting. As a mom, it would be great to have an indoor play space that both parents and kids could play together, not necessarily sports. I am not opposed to sports, but something for a range of kid ages to play at the same time with parents. The dry land equivalent of a pool.

    Nicole asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your comments, we’ll be sure to share them with the Working Group. Dance space is included in the preliminary project concept, as are play spaces for kids and families. We agree that kids and families need indoor space to play when the weather or wildfire air quality restricts their outdoor activities. Please sign up for project updates at the top right to be notified of further opportunities for public comment.

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    Can you increase the size of the pool to 25 yards so it can serve more of the communities needs?

    Emily asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your question, we’ll be sure to share it with the Working Group. 

    Redesigning Currents Aquatics Center is outside the scope of this project and would be cost-prohibitive. An interesting and indirect benefit of the 20-yard pool and warmer water temperatures at Currents is that it serves individuals of all ages who are experiencing mobility challenges in a way none of our other lap pools do. Typical lap pools are often full of ardent fitness and competitive swimmers. The mix often causes conflict for the novice or slower and less skilled swimmer, which results in them “giving up” their space to the ardent swimmer. 

    Splash Montana has a 50-meter pool and daily lap swim hours. Please sign up for project updates at the top right to be notified of further opportunities for public comment.

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    Just curious if there are any plans for a indoor gymnasium - such as basketball, racquetball, or pickle ball courts?

    John asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your question, we’ll be sure to share it with the Working Group. Yes, a gymnasium is part of the initial project concept. Demand for indoor gym space is high in Missoula, and a multi-purpose gym space would meet the needs of many in our community. Please sign up for project updates at the top right to be notified of further opportunities for public comment.

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    Are you going to include pedestrian friendly ways to get between Currents, the all abilities park, and the new center? I am very frustrated that right now we have to bike with our kids through the parking lot!

    Emily asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your comment, we'll be sure to share it with the Working Group. Yes! We absolutely need to provide good pedestrian connectivity between Currents and Silver Summit Playground.

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    I have been thinking for a while that we need an indoor playground, especially since Flying Squirrel is shutting down. We need more things for kids to do in the winter months. Not just for preschoolers either. There are a lot of homeschoolers in our community and of course school aged kids could enjoy it late afternoons and weekends. Big kids need to play and move too! We love to play outside but it’s so nice to have some indoor options. And here’s the key: the indoor playground needs to have a coffee shop and tables for parents to sit and chat as they watch their kids. And the playground needs to be visible from the tables, not in various rooms or anything like the old children’s museum. Moms NEED to have a break and chat with their friends or work or etc while being able to watch their children safely play. I think this would be such an awesome addition to a community center.

    amberstew406 asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback, we’ll be sure to forward your comments to the working group. We agree that kids and families need indoor spaces to play when the weather or wildfire air quality restricts their outdoor activities. The initial project concept does include some type of coffee counter/café/gathering spot for parents.

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    I would love to see spaces for community dance events with a hardwood floor (ideally, a sprung hardwood floor)!

    krys asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback, we will share it with the design team. Dedicated dance features are certainly under consideration. If you haven't already, please also consider sharing your thoughts via the needs assessment survey at right.

Page last updated: 05 November 2021, 16:26