A state-of-the-art amenity complex, the Rec Center at Cibolo Canyons is the first of its kind within a residential community in the greater San Antonio area. Combining resort-style pools with a number of pragmatic components, the Rec Center is a comprehensive facility designed to handle a multitude of community needs.

Cibolo Canyons is a 2,800-acre master planned community with two golf courses just northeast of San Antonio, one of the fastest-growing areas in the Texas Hill Country. Accommodating 1,000 people at any given time, the Rec Center captures the essence of the neighboring Marriott Resort, delivering the resort experience of luxury, comfort and activity to Cibolo Canyons residents.

Faced with considerable developmental challenges, the Rec Center site borders the 100-year flood plain, forming a natural limit for construction and unique parameters for design. With an overall width of 153 feet and significant grade change — 24 feet at its extreme — the design team developed an innovative site plan that responds to land constraints, employing a 13-foot-tall, 120-foot-long retaining wall to backfill and create a buildable area.

A 6,630-square-foot community center partitions the amenity complex, establishing distinct areas for water and field recreation. The Rec Center encompasses a cutting-edge waterpark, an innovative lazy river, whimsical play pool and six-lane lap pool. The aquatic features form the heart of the center, creating active as well as passive recreational opportunities.

A departure from typical recreation designs, the lazy river is a unique addition to a residential recreation center usually reserved for waterparks or resorts. Designers maximized spatial limitations by stretching the lazy river design, developing dramatic longitudinal lines and separating near-parallel segments with a landscaped island featuring native and tropical plants.

Winding around the island, with its limestone elements and palm trees, the expansive lazy river reflects the Hill Country aesthetic implicit to Cibolo Canyons — yet it incorporates plants that invoke the Marriott Resort experience. This resort-style pool’s relaxed current carries guests down the river and around the island, passing a double waterfall on two sides. Situated in the northeastern section of the lazy river, the waterfall gives vertical dimension to the space as water gently cascades over a limestone rock wall into either side of the river at its base.

The lazy river also provides a secondary level of circulation with its nuanced course carving out intimate patio spaces amongst larger gathering areas. The most popular attraction within the Rec Center, the lazy river provides a restorative and ebullient experience, allowing some guests to relax in its steady current while still others move against it during play.

You might call the play pool a brightly colored, 2,000-square-foot water playground of energy and fun. A beach entry gives the pool a resort feel, while geysers around the entry perimeter surprise and delight guests of all ages.

At the center of the play pool are various activated play features. Perhaps the most prominent and invigorating component is an overhead tipping bucket, gingerly positioned at its topmost point and ready to spill 300 gallons of water over throngs of giddy children and adventurous adults.

With its spray nozzles, jets, valves, water guns, slides, cranks and water cannons, this aquatic play structure presents innumerable opportunities for kids to tap into their imaginations and explore the water world its integrated “toys” have created.

Located beside the community center, a traditional lap pool utilizes a 15-horse -power pump to filter 450 gallons of water per minute, providing a rejuvenating exercise experience. His and hers dressing rooms are conveniently located within the center alongside a fully equipped fitness facility, which rounds out the facility’s structured exercise offerings.

The community center also boasts a considerable kitchen and common room for meetings, birthday parties and receptions. Lining the exterior of the building on one end, a 498-square-foot portico creates an outdoor activity space complemented by a double-sided fireplace and site furnishings. A room designated for pool equipment is situated beneath the community building, thus saving space by utilizing existing site topography.

Besides the Rec Center’s waterscape and community center, the site features multiuse fields for soccer and other activities, plus an extensive hiking trail system.

A playscape equipped with slides, climbers, overhead toys, ramps, a tunnel and a bridge mimics the water playground; however, it allows for outdoor play year ’round.

Architectural elements coupled with native and tropical plantings simultaneously unify the Rec Center with its natural setting while imbuing it with a distinctive resort aesthetic. The community center’s stone construction blends well with the trellis structures, palms and xeriscaping.

A synthesis of innovative and activated amenities, the Rec Center is minutes away and worlds apart, creating an inimitable resort experience for the residents of Cibolo Canyons.

Nuts & Bolts

  • 6,630-square-foot community center incorporating a fitness center, kitchen, restrooms, his and hers changing rooms, a generous portico with a double-sided outdoor fireplace, and pool equipment storage.
  • 3,622-square-foot, 6-lane lap pool
  • 2,217-square-foot play pool with beach entry, geysers and a water playground equipped with spray nozzles, jets, valves, water guns, slides, cranks, water cannons and an overhead tipping bucket holding 300 gallons of water
  • 300-linear foot lazy river circulating around an island with 5-foot-high, double-sided waterfall constructed of local limestone
  • Playscape equipped with slides, climbers, a bridge, ramps, a tunnel and overhead toys
  • More than 90 parking spaces
  • 384-square-foot pool equipment storage below community center
  • 13-foot -all, 120-foot-long retaining wall
  • 3 bay trellis structures supported by wood columns and a stone base
  • 12,000-square-foot pool deck featuring salt finish concrete and integral color