Today, our direct appeal for additional funding for the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center is on behalf of the more than 7,000 residents that currently and will very soon populate the region that is served by our center.
Although the Council, thanks to the efforts of former Ward 7 Councilmember Gray, has appropriated approximately $10M towards the renovation of the Kenilworth-Parkside facility, we come to you today to say that this amount is not enough. In meetings with neighbors and stakeholders, we determined that this community needs and deserves a brand new facility.
We therefore request an additional $10M be budgeted and appropriated to the DPR to meet this urgent need. We request that a total of $20M be immediately budget and appropriated to build a new, 45-50,000 square foot, state-of-the-art recreational Kenilworth-Parkside Recreational facility, which will be the pride and shining light of the District of Columbia. After 34 years of patching and “making due,” it is time to bring the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center into the 21st Century! This amount and square footage is comparable, in size and scope to what DPR had constructed at Takoma and Columbia Heights centers.
Based upon our research of recently built DPR facilities (appendix A), we know that $10-12M would be an insufficient amount to complete a new center. We have already begun the community planning process with DPR officials. We understand that the Council found a way to underwrite $50M for the Verizon Center and $700M for a new baseball stadium. The beneficiaries of these funds, for the most part are not District residents and taxpayers. So, by perspective, as your constituents and District taxpayers, we’re not asking for very much.
Our center's infrastructure is more than 34 years old and it simply doesn't work anymore. For those proponents of renovating, think about HD Woodson Senior High School. It also was built between 31-35 years ago, and today has continual daily problems. The plans and promises for a new school have been on the table for almost 10 years! You just recently spent more than $900,000 just to get the heat back on. So, we are saying, as taxpayers, please do not waste our tax dollars on a patchwork of “re-do’s.” We expect you to use tax dollars wisely.