Prairie Lakes Wellness Center

Watertown, South Dakota

The City of Watertown has called upon JLG Architects to design a Wellness and Community Center that will replacing their aging recreation and aquatics facility. The new Watertown Community Center has been designed to meet the current and future needs of the Watertown community in terms of gymnasium space, aquatics space, and overall wellness. The new facility will be 105,000 square feet placed on two stories with many feature and amenities. A large, four court gymnasium will serve the city’s parks and recreation department, allowing them to host large events with seating up to 2000 people.

An expansive aquatics portion of the building will feature 3 different pools. The 25 yard, 8 lane competition pool will serve the needs of the local competitive swimming team and will also feature seating for 300 spectators and an elevated timing/scoring platform. The leisure pool will more specifically serve the wellness portion of the building with attributes for the whole family including a zero-depth entry pool, waterslide, and an additional 3 lap lanes. The third pool is a whirlpool that will seat up to twelve people and will have access directly from the men’s and women’s locker rooms.

The wellness portion of the building will have a number of amenities to serve the families of Watertown. This will include one gymnasium dedicated to wellness, 3 racquetball courts, locker room space for men, women, youth and families, and a childwatch area to serve patrons of the building while there to exercise. Other highlights of the wellness portion of the building include cardio space for up to 50 machines, an area for free weights and weight machines, an 8 lap per mile walking track, and 4 group fitness rooms for aerobics, spinning and yoga.

Prairie Lakes Wellness Center is oriented to maximize solar gain and daylighting, while minimizing the need for artificial lighting.

In the first year of opening, the Prairie Lakes Wellness Center had 264,799 guests – a 121% increase from the old facility. At the same time, the average daily attendance jumped from 333 to 735 people, and membership contracts rose from 1,230 to 2,069.

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"To watch that come from an idea that had been floated around for eight or 10 years to finally get such a beautiful facility was amazing!"
Former Mayor Thorson