The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
o to The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Salem, Ore., and you will find a combination of sorts—a church, library, education center, cultural performing arts facility, and recreation and aquatics center—all in one cohesive complex.
The 91,500-square-foot community center, which opened in September 2009, was the result of a generous endowment from the late Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc. She donated $1.8 billion to The Salvation Army in 2004 to build and endow community centers throughout the country. Salem received $35.5 million from the endowment to build the community center and $35.5 million to help operate the facility. Local fundraising contributions brought the total project donations to $81 million.
The facility's six major centers make up the Corps chapel, community and education, recreation, aquatics, building support and administration, which were designed for people of all ages and backgrounds—a place for self-improvement and community connections.
Centrally located within the facility are the community center's entry lobby and lounge, providing convenient access to the recreation and corps/community wings of the center. The lobby area is enclosed by a wood roof structure, with several areas for informal gathering with comfortable seating, tables and a fireplace.
At the heart of the center are the chapel, community and education spaces. The Corps chapel space has sloped floor seating for 300 people and a performance platform, designed to serve the community as a multipurpose worship space and small performance venue. Meanwhile, the community wing includes multipurpose rooms, as well as an events hall serving a variety of functions, including meetings, classes and small receptions, and to supplement the worship spaces. The rooms can be combined and have convenient access to an outdoor community patio. A full commercial kitchen is attached to the events hall as well.
Other facility features include a babysitting room located close to the entrance for drop-in supervision, an early childhood education center, arts and crafts room, library, computer room, game room and adult lounge that anchor the west edge of the community wing, and the recreation activity center that features a gymnasium designed for such sports as volleyball and basketball, featuring an NBA-size court.
Also, the center's fitness area boasts a multipurpose aerobics/dance studio, and a 30-foot climbing wall and belay zone. The fitness area provides circuit training, cardiovascular and free weight equipment, stretching areas and youth fitness. To boot, the aquatics complex features a lighthouse and trees, as well as a 25-yard-by-25-meter pool that supports a variety of training and fitness aquatics activities and competitive swim events, water polo and exercise classes with stairs for easy entry and exit.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.salemkroc.org
W H A T T H E J U D G E S S A I D
"Hats off to the Krocs for their generous vision and to allow projects like this to exist. This is a great destination and a very comfortable and handsome community hub."
"The theming of this facility is fantastic. The exterior is the best of the bunch, blending gracefully with its surroundings."
"The exterior palette of materials in texture and color convey warm and inviting sense."
"Wonderful building. Nice aquatic area—interesting, inviting but not over-stimulating."
A S S O C I A T E D F I R M S
Associate Design Architect: CB2 Architects
Operational Planning: Ballard-King Associates
General Contractor: LCG Pence
Civil Engineer: Westech Engineering
Landscape Architect: Christopher Freshley, Landscape Architect
Structural Engineer: Miller Consulting Engineers
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: GLUMAC International
Electrical & Lighting Consultant: Reese Engineering
Aquatics Consultant: Water Technology Inc.
Acoustical Consultant: Sparling Acoustical Design
Kitchen Consultant: Clevenger Associates
Fitness Consultant: Commercial Fitness Solutions