Commissioner’s Simms St. Center Deed Presented to Apex Park and Recreation District

Commissioner’s Deed Presented to Apex Park and Recreation District

Apex Simms St. Deed

Left to right, Wayne Forman, Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee Chair;  Chairman for the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners Faye Griffin;  Jim Whitfield, Apex Park and Recreation District Board Member; and Mike Miles, Executive Director of the Apex Park and Recreation District.


At the Thursday, April 3, 2014 meeting of the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee, Jefferson County Commissioner Faye Griffin, and Advisory Committee Chair Wayne Forman presented to Apex Park and Recreation District Executive Director Mike Miles and Board member Jim Whitfield the deed to the Apex Simms Street Center, previously leased from Jeffco Open Space.  The property consists of 10.529 acres and 30,218 square-foot building located at 82nd Avenue and Simms Street in Arvada, formerly known as the Christ Community Covenant Church.



In May 2002, the acquisition of Christ Community Covenant Church was completed by Jeffco Open Space in a cost share project with the North Jeffco Park and Recreation District.  The County contributed $1,792,950 in Bond Funds toward the purchase, with $576,050 paid by the District, known now as Apex Park and Recreation District. This property was purchased for the District to use as a recreation center site.

The District leased this property from the County and has renovated approximately 50% of the building into a recreation center.  The District subleased a portion of the building to Christ Community Covenant Church with the stipulation that revenue from the sublease be remitted to the County at the termination of the Church’s lease.

In September 2011, the Apex Park and Recreation District formally requested ownership of the property at 8151 Simms Street in Arvada for ongoing recreation uses and management.

This request triggered an evaluation of the Jeffco Open Space existing policies and identified the need to change policy, if there was a desire to convey this property to Apex Park and Recreation District. Staff and the Open Space Advisory Committee evaluated the topic of deeding properties to Districts and recommended the Board of County Commissioners’ approve a revision to Open Space policies to allow land to be deeded to districts on a case-by-case basis. The deed could not be conveyed to Apex Park and Recreation District until Open Space policy was amended and the Church lease expired.

The Board of County Commissioners approved the change to policy on May 1, 2012. The sublease with Christ Community Covenant Church expired in January 2014.

This conveyance of a Commissioner’s Deed for property acquired and leased to a district is the second event of its kind in the 41 year history of Jeffco Open Space.



Jeffco Open Space was founded as a land conservation organization in 1972 to preserve land, protect park and natural resources and provide healthy nature-based experiences. We are funded with a one-half of one percent sales tax that has preserved over 53,000 acres and created 28 regional parks and 227 miles of trails in Jefferson County.

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Re-elect Jim Whitfield to the Apex Park and Recreation District (PRD) Board of Directors (2014 Election)

Apex PRD board president Jim Whitfield

“This is how government should work at all levels”

Yes.  I am announcing my candidacy for my third and final four year term as one of the board of directors for the Apex Park and Recreation District.  I would be honored to earn your vote to serve the constituents of the district’s team.   There is a lot to achieve at the district between 2014 and 2018.  Here are a few of opportunities that I would like to work on for you.


1) In 2018 the bonds that were issued to build the Apex Center will expire and an opportunity exists to renew them.  From an identified need for more recreation for the District’s constituents from 50th to 88th Avenue and from Kipling St. to Sheridan St. the vision 2020 committee had recommended an East Side multi-generational recreation center at the Arvada Center property via a suggestion from former council member Rachel Zenzinger.  However, Arvada City Council rejected this plan in lieu of their need to revisit the Arvada Center Master plan.   The need has not diminished and so the pursuit for an adequate site in the East side of the district continues in partnership with the City and County.   If we can locate a feasible site the next four year term will provide the Apex Park and Recreation District an opportunity to renew the Apex Center bonds through a District bond “renewal” election.  If I am re-elected I will be the only active board member that has played an active role in the last successful District election.  It will take a tremendous effort and strategy to construct a proposal for a majority of the entire District to approve.   I feel I have have proven qualifications, experience, and energy as an Apex Board member to help with this effort an assembling a winning bond proposal.

2) Our prized Meyers 50 meter pool will also need to be replaced soon.   The Meyers pool is owned by the City of Arvada and operated by the Apex Park and Recreation District.   A design flaw when it was constructed has enabled water to damage the support beams of the walls and roof over the facility.  Planning and discussions need to start immediately with the City, County, School District with regard to its replacement.   We have learned from issues with pools in the past that discussions and planning are an early necessity to ensure all of the stakeholders and District are aware of the need for a replacement.   Like most all of the Apex facilities that were designed to optimally benefit both the local neighborhood, District, and surrounding areas, a new 50 Meter pool would be designed to continue to provide for competitive and recreational swimming and diving and would include facilities for residents that live very near the facility.    The Fitness and Community Recreation Centers are very good examples of smaller neighborhood facilities that provide fitness and recreation but also provide a venue for all of the District to enjoy.

3) There is a general need to make improvements at all of our facilities and venues.  Our outdoor turf sports like football, soccer, rugby, and lacrosse are eager to have more year round fields to play on, our baseball and softball facilities continue to provide a great venue for tournaments but need updating, and our District continues to be a Pickleball haven and continues to grow in popularity.

And if I am re-elected I would gladly serve once again as the President of the Board of Directors as I once did when our District earned its Colorado SDA award for excellence in small government collaboration.

To vote in this election you will either need to go vote on May 6th at the Apex or Community Recreation Center  (or complete a absentee ballot request.   Since this is a special district May election you must complete a mail-in ballot in order to vote). Here is the absentee ballot application.  You must complete this form and turn it in to obtain a mail-in ballot.2014-apex-park-and-recreation-district-absentee-ballot-application

If you would like to assist with my re-election efforts or provide a campaign donation toward my re-election effort please send an email to or call 720-336-9607.

Here is a summary of the District’s accomplishments as a Apex and SDA Board Member:
SE Arvada Healthy Places project team member
Secured Deed to the Simms St. Center property from Jefferson County (by requesting this new policy from the Jefferson County Commissioners)
Secured Open Spaces grant funding for Simms St. Pickleball & Park
City of Arvada Community Spirit Award
Opened the Simms St. Center
Opened the Apex Field House
SDA Collaboration Award
Resolved 50 year old unresolved water and deed issues
Wolff and Arvada Central park improvements
Secured Apex Field House and Simms St. – with no additional taxes !!
District wide Sustainability Improvements
Long Lake Ranch and Stenger Bathroom additions
Long Lake Ranch artificial lighted turf
Re-negotiated Intergovernmental Agreements with Arvada Staff
Apex Ice Railing improvements
Refinanced Apex Bonds and saved tax payers ~$1,000,000
Passed the first ever mil levy increase election for the district


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Arvada Healthy Places Initiative…..

The City was awarded a $1 million healthy places grant initiative to look at improvements in SE Arvada near the RTD stations.   I was at their kick-off meeting today as the Apex PRD is a stakeholder.

There are 10′s of stakeholders and they are planning to obtain as much input from all of the community in SE Arvada (the study area).   There was discussion of improved biking and pedestrian pathways, gardens, parks, and recreational facilities like futsal and pickleball. For you cyclists out there additional bike racks are already in the works.

Rose Chavez is the coordinator.   Stay tuned for more information.

More about the initiative can be found here…


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Apex PRD to add more Pickleball Courts and Community Hero’s Drought Tolerant Garden

Your Apex PRD district has been busy.   We will soon be receiving the deed for our Simms St. Recreation Center and we have been busy working on both the inside and outside of the facility.  If you haven’t noticed we added eight Pickle-ball courts and we are about to add even more through Open Space grants we were awarded.     We will be converting the grounds around the newly installed Pickle ball courts with a drought tolerant garden and will also pay tribute to our many community hero’s.   Here are some images of the soon to arrive park:

Simm St Center aerial_112413_SMALL

Simm St Center entry_ 112413 SMALL_REV

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Where to place a new 50 Meter Aquatics facility / Recreation Center in our District ?

On the premise that we may bundle a new 50 meter aquatics facility with a recreation center somewhere in our district I have been mulling over just where such a facility might fit on available property in our District.    The newest 50 meter aquatics facility nearby is the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center in Adams County. Granted that a 50 Meter aquatics facility with an associated recreation center may have a slightly larger footprint than what I have used for the VAMC facility I have made a quick and simple attempt to see how it would fit within our District. So using the same scale in google earth I have attempted to place the footprint of that facility at some various sites within our District. It is interesting to see that some of the sites work quite well and others appear to be somewhat of a challenge.

Raltson Creek
ralston-creek ralston-creek2

Olde Town
olde-town olde-town2

Meyers Pool
meyers meyers2

Arvada High
arvada-high arvada-high2

naac nacc2

Arvada Center
arvada-center    arvada-center2

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City of Arvada – Agenda item #8 for Council Meeting on Jan. 6th, 2014

Item 8 on the agenda: Use of the Arvada Center Property for a proposed Eastside Recreation Center by the Apex Park and Recreation District.

A recreation center at this site could not only centrally service residents along the entire East side of Arvada from 52nd to 88th Ave, but it could also help drive more revenue to the Arvada Center which currently runs at ~$3 million annual deficit that is funded by us (residents of the City). However, it isn’t the end of the world if its rejected, just a lost opportunity to better serve the East side.  And it isn’t end end of the Arvada Center either.  Maybe only about a $35 million error if you measure it as a “real option” ( if we are unable to re-new the bonds that are near the end or their term.

We will see how the vote goes tomorrow.

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Long Lake Bathroom project……













The first renderings for what the bathrooms will look like at Long Lake Ranch Regional Park are out.   What a tremendous benefit this will be to all of those that visit the site.   Our efforts toward collaborating and completing this project date back to 2010.















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A concern for youth sports facilities in Arvada……..

Jim Whitfield

I have been associated with the Apex Park and Recreation District board now for 8 years and I see storm clouds looming on the horizon with regard to youth sports facilities in our area.      I feel we have become complacent and are overlooking some needs and priorities with regard to youth sports facilities.  My real concern here is my premise that youth sports is a tremendous growing and teaching experience for youth and the failure to provide adequate facilities will erode this experience.

Here are three concerns:

1)  Our 50 meter pool (Meyers Pool) has sustained significant structural water damage this last year and estimates are that 10 years are all that we can expect to obtain from it.   Unfortunately this 10 year window sits right in the middle of our district bond “cycle” assuming the bonds that built the Apex center are renewed.     Although our facility is a 50 meter pool it does not come with all of the current amenities like an acceptable diving depth at both ends and a warm-up & warm-down pool for competitive swimming.  A good example of a new facility can be seen at 136th and Holly St. in Thornton Colorado (

Youth aquatics

Adams County Veterans Memorial Aquatics Facility

It is my current position that a replacement needs to be considered to prevent a severe disruption to this youth sport in our community and the current location may not have enough acreage to accommodate a replacement.

2) The youth baseball indoor batting and training facility is going away.  Given the popularity of the sport in our area and state and the value that this youth sport has ingrained in our society (“America’s past time”) I feel that a new training facility for important youth sport should be in the planning stages. baseball The Apex PRD district is prevented by statute from building and operating a batting cage but an indoor training facility could be adjacent to one.

3) Although midget football and American football in general is a part of our weekends we do not have an artificial turf field for youth to play on in case of inclement weather.    0925_JZ_FOOTBALL 2_ jaThere are full size turf fields around at our local high schools that are utilized but none exist for those that play on smaller sized fields.   I feel that this is also a gap with regard to how important this youth sport is to our community.

These three concerns obviously need to be measured against the other priorities of our district and what may be available in the private sector.   There are a number of for-profit workout and recreation facilities so a good balance must always be obtained.





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Happy Birthday Colorado !

Colorado celebrates its 137 birthday today.  Congrats.  Curious to know about Colorado’s journey to statehood… more

colorad jim whitfield

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You know your an item in Arvada when…………..

…..there is an internet domain and website asking residents not to vote for you when you haven’t even announced your running for office…………..  (

Apex PRD board president Jim Whitfield

This is how government should work at all levels

Jim Whitfield

Jim Whitfield

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