Marmon Mok, partnering with Exigo Architects, was selected by the City of El Paso’s Library and Parks & Recreation Department to design three unique facilities: Alameda Recreational Center & Library, Chamizal Recreational Center & Library, and the Lomaland Recreational Center as part of their 2012 Quality of Life Bond. All three facilities are of similar size with the same programmatic requirements, except for Lomaland which will not support a Library. When completed the facilities are to provide their respective communities with new services for years to come.
The Chamizal Recreational Center & Library is sited within the oldest and one of the poorest areas of El Paso, where the median income is half the city average. Encompassing a variety of exercise spaces including: a double Gymnasium, Cardio Weights Room, Auxiliary Gymnasium, Game Space, Multi-purpose Fitness, Public Library, Multi-purpose Community Room, Library, and two unique features in El Paso, a covered Courtyard and a covered Parking lot. The Chamizal project is to be larger than the other two projects due to it being an adaptive re-use of a portion of a building once a bustling Levi’s denim factory. Remaining portions of the factory not being re-used for the Center will either be demolished, to accommodate a civic park being funded through a Federal Community Block Grant, or are being re-used as a covered Courtyard.
As part of each project, the City of El Paso’s MCAD (Museum & Cultural Affairs Department) is coordinating a major Public Art piece in an effort to support and enhance the cultural heritage of the city. For the Chamizal project, Jesus “CIMI” Alvarado is developing a mural that will be back-lit mounted on the exterior façade of the building.
Covered Parking Lot