Grand Prairie Goes for Gold at the National Recreational & Park Association 2017 Awards

The City of Grand Prairie, Texas is nominated for a Gold Medal Award at this year’s NRPA 

The City of Grand Prairie, Texas has announced that it has been nominated as a finalist for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)’s 2017 Gold Medal Award for its spectacular new recreation center, Epic Grand Central. Covering 172 acres near the heart of the city, The Epic will offer a huge array of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities for visitors of all ages when it opens in November 2017. Retractable enclosure developer OpenAire is honored to help the city achieve its ambitious vision with an innovative 62,000 sq. ft. operable enclosure design created for The Epic’s indoor waterpark, Epic Waters. The NRPA’s prestigious Gold Medal Award recognizes communities across the United States that have demonstrated “excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services.”

The NRPA Gold Medal Award is presented each year at the NRPA Annual Conference, which brings together thousands of parks and recreation experts from across the USA from September 26-27. Grand Prairie’s nomination will bring national attention to its park facilities from the country’s leading professionals. “We are extremely proud to once again be named as a finalist for the NRPA Gold Medal Award,” says Rick Herold, Director of Parks, Arts & Recreation for the City of Grand Prairie, “We hope that this serves as a reminder to the citizens of Grand Prairie that [our department] is committed to enhancing the quality of life and creating community through our ‘gold medal’ staff and facilities!” Awards will be presented to municipalities, armed forces recreation facilities, and state parks in seven categories at this year’s conference in New Orleans.

Grand Prairie’s history of developing ambitious and forward-thinking parks and recreation spaces for its residents, along with its with its current project to build the record-breaking 172-acre Epic Grand Central recreation center, makes the city an ideal candidate for this kind of award. OpenAire’s retractable enclosure for Epic Waters has contributed to Grand Prairie’s long-term planning and sustainability with its low-maintenance materials and sunlit design that will reduce dehumidification and lighting use by up to 27% compared to traditional structures. The indoor park’s 40 retractable roof panels will open to let the sun and fresh air into the park below during the warm summer months. When the weather turns cool or rainy, the panels can close at the touch of a button to maintain the perfect conditions inside. This innovative design has helped make Epic Waters a centerpiece of The Epic’s attractions.

Grand Prairie currently has more than 5,000 acres of park space and has taken leadership in making it the most inviting recreation space possible for the city’s 180,000 residents. Grand Prairie voters have approved a total of 0.75 cents in local sales taxes to fund the development and maintenance of park attractions, including The Summit Recreation Center for baby boomers, QuikTrip Park Minor League Baseball stadium, and, most recently, The Epic Grand Central. Thanks to Grand Prairie’s grand vision and OpenAire’s unique retractable design expertise, The Epic and all of the city’s other parks are sure to be an example of forward thinking park development when they are showcased at this year’s NRPA Annual Conference. Both Grand Prairie’s representatives and OpenAire look forward to being there.