Thanks to additional funding, DC’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has added a second basketball court, two tot lots, and more landscaping to the park that will temporarily fill the site of closed Bruce-Monroe Elementary School in Park View. There will also be a small parking lot due to zoning requirements.
Click to enlarge. See also this Site and Utilities Improvement Plan from DMPED.
When a revised design was presented to the community on March 31, 2010, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) only had $500,000 to work with and only truly proposed building a tennis court, basketball court, and installing a security fence around the property.
On May 26, 2010, Councilmember Jim Graham announced that an additional $1.5 Million had been secured for developing the site. At last night’s Georgia Avenue Community Task Force meeting, DMPED project manager Andre Byers presented an updated plan that also dates to May 26.
In addition to the original tennis court and basketball court, as second basketball court has been added as well as two tot lots and a parking lot for visitors to the park. While DMPED’s original proposal to make the entire site a parking lot was successfully defeated by well-organized neighbors, Byers stated that zoning required the parking spaces included on the plan, even if the site was being used on an interim basis.
Work on phase one is scheduled to be completed by mid- to late-July. The initial development will not include water or lighted courts. The only lighting that will be in place will be for security purposes.
An area will be reserved for a future urban garden, and the athletic courts have been relocated along Columbia Road to free up the northwest corner of the property for a farmers market. Due to zoning restrictions, only the property along Georgia Avenue can be used commercially. The remainder of the property is zoned R-4 residential.
The second phase will include water and lighting for the entire site. There will be no designated lighting for the athletic courts. Programming and permitting for the second phase will occur while the initial development is underway, and may even begin before the first phase is completed.
Finally, a building of some sort will be located at the center of the property to support educational programs and other community needs. Whether it is a trailer or permanent structure does not appear to be settled at this time. When pressed on how the $2 million was to be used, Byers responded that it was all allocated for construction, development and programming.
The current budget does not have specific line item allocations. Once completed, the site would be operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation, and maintenance costs would need to come from them.