Marsh Creek Community Center is a 25,000 square foot educational and recreational facility set within Marsh Creek Park, providing a place of interaction and stimulation. The Community Center houses an air-conditioned gymnasium, fitness center, locker rooms, multi-purpose room and classroom spaces, and serves as a leisure and learning environment complimenting the activities and offerings of the park. The addition of the community center has provided both indoor and outdoor program spaces, building a connection between multiple community interests. The adjacent playground, built with the Center, is a certified Boundless Playground, which eliminates barriers for children with all kinds of disabilities: physical, sensory, cognitive, and developmental.

The Community Center’s one-story structure is designed to interface with surrounding park amenities, incorporate natural materials and maximize energy efficiency. The building structure was fitted into the sloping site creating additional covered outdoor program space. This covered area – equipped with picnic tables, ceiling fans, overhead lighting and power outlets – creates a gathering space for a variety of creative environmental programs, allowing education to directly interact with nature.

The building was sited in the park to limit the removal of existing trees and forecast a relationship with future amenities and other natural areas of the park. The landscaping was developed using native plants and grasses, which lowers maintenance costs and watering requirements while providing an educational opportunity regarding the sustainability of native plant species.

During crises, the building will serve as an Emergency Operations Center for the City of Raleigh, supported by an emergency generator, showers and a kitchen. Marsh Creek Park is located adjacent to the Raleigh City Parks Maintenance Facility, which allows the two facilities to work together to serve the city during an emergency.