Mayor Gray Announces Largest Playground Renovation Project in DC History

Photo by PoPville flickr user dracisk

From a press release:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Jesús Aguirre and Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon today announced that the District government would be undertaking the largest playground renovation project in its history. The announcement was made at Benning Park Recreation Center, one of the sites scheduled to be renovated under the expanded and accelerated Playground Improvement Project.

As part of his Playground Improvement Project, Mayor Gray tasked DPR with identifying the playgrounds across the city most in need of renovations. Initially this project was to be a multi-year endeavor as the District worked to improve all of the playgrounds in DPR’s inventory. However, Mayor Gray prioritized this initiative and worked with his budget team to identify additional end-of-year capital funds to both add additional playgrounds to the project and accelerate the pace of renovations. As a result, a total of 32 playgrounds will now be renovated in Fiscal Year 2013.

DPR and DGS conducted an analysis to determine which playgrounds were most in need of renovation and to estimate the number that could be renovated with the new funding.

Criteria that were used to determine which playgrounds receive renovations include:

Age and condition of existing equipment;
Internal risk-management audits;
Community needs;
Existing usage;
Existing surfacing;
Area demographics – including trends and forecasts;
Existing infrastructure (water, electricity, etc.);
Operations and maintenance requirements; and
Proximity to other playgrounds/parks.

Mayor Gray announced today that the following playgrounds were identified though this analysis and will be renovated through this initiative are:

Ward 1

Harrison Playground, 1330 V Street NW
Banneker Playground, 2500 Georgia Avenue NW

Ward 2

Rose Park Playground, 2609 Dumbarton Street NW

Ward 3

Macomb Playground, 3409 Macomb Street NW
Palisades Playground, 5200 Sherrier Place NW
Forest Hills Park Playground, 32nd Street NW and Chesapeake Street NW
Newark Park Playground, 39th Street NW and Newark Street NW
Key Playground, 5001 Dana Place NW

Ward 4

Takoma Park Playground, 300 Van Buren Street NW
Emery Playground, 5801 Georgia Avenue, NW
Upshur Park Playground, 4300 Arkansas Avenue NW
Fort Stevens Playground, 1327 Van Buren Street, NW
Hamilton Playground, 1340 Hamilton Street NW

Continues after the jump.

Ward 5

Harry Thomas Sr. Playground, 1743 Lincoln Road NE
Turkey Thicket Playground, 1100 Michigan Avenue NW
Brentwood Playground, 2311 14th Street NE

Ward 6

Randall Playground, South Capitol and I Streets SW
Kennedy Playground, 1401 7th Street NW

Ward 7

Hillcrest Playground, 3100 Denver Street SE
Benning Park Playground, Southern Avenue & Fable Street SE
Neval Thomas Playground, 650 Anacostia Avenue NE

Ward 8

Fort Greble Playground, Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Elmira Street SW
Douglass Playground, 2100 Stanton Terrace SE
Oxon Run Playground, 6th Street and Mississippi Avenue SE

In addition, Mayor Gray’s Fiscal Year 2012 and 2013 budgets include capital funding for the renovation of the following eight playgrounds, all of which are already either in the design or construction phase:

Volta Playground, 1555 34th Street NW (Ward 2)
Raymond Playground, 915 Spring Street NW (Ward 4)
Noyes Playground, 2725 10th Street NE (Ward 5)
Rosedale Playground, 1701 Gales Street NE (Ward 6)
Benning Stoddert Playground, 100 Stoddert Place SE (Ward 7)
Barry Farm Playground, 1230 Sumner Road SE (Ward 8)
Congress Heights Playground, 611 Alabama Avenue SE (Ward 8)
Fort Stanton Playground, 1800 Erie Street SE (Ward 8)

DPR currently operates 78 playgrounds. In recent months several of them have been renovated, including playgrounds in Shaw, Columbia Heights, Bloomingdale, Shepherd Park and Chevy Chase.

Renovations on the initial list of playgrounds are expected to start this fall, with completions during 2013.

20 Comment

  • Why is Upshur on the list? It was just renovated.

  • In Ward 3, the Macomb and Newark Street playgrounds don’t need renovating.

  • Awesome sans the ones that don’t need it.

  • Lots of these playgrounds don’t need renovating. Someone (Mayor Grey know)’s uncle just got a nice contract?

    • DC does not expend money to maintain it’s properties. It great to do the renovation, but then have someone fix the broken fence, plant, sweep the area, and water the grass, ect; It doesn’t make a great sound bite but our parks and playgrounds are in dire need of it.

  • Why is Hamilton Park on this list? It was just renovated, with the support of a community organization and many neighbors.

    • oh Hamilton still needs attention. the community group DID raise money and contract the construction of a “tot lot” in the space that was formerly a hang out for drinking and drugging teens (primarily), but the basketball courts are crappy, the playground for older kids is very out-of-date, and the un-used “courts” between the street and the basketball court needs to be re-purposed as something useful (maybe youth sized tennis, or a garden?)…and the rec building is a nasty old thing that barely serves all the great programming that the local Friends of the Parks group (the same group that raised the money for the Tot Lot AND spearheaded the major renovation at the Upshur playground) has been putting together with great success over the past several years.

    • Hamilton park did need updating last time i was there. But of more concern where the neighbors who keep walking their pitbull off leash on the field next to the playground and letting the dog go through a hole in the fence into the alley (where there was notway they’d be able to squeeze through and grab him if someone came along.) Ugh, had to stop bringing my kids there.

  • this whole initiative is a waste of money. the parks are not in bad shape to need this much renovation.

    i know bannaker is just fine and in no need for renovation.

    big waste!

    • It’s a sweetheart deal for the council members and contractors who support Gray. Typical small-time corruption…you scratch my back, I’ll give you a playground renovation. Of course we don’t need this, but Fenty did the same thing awarding renovation contracts to his frat bros.

      • Does not the Council review all city contracts over 1 million dollars? Why yes, yes it does.

        So a mayor may submit them, but the Council approves them.

  • I went to Rose Park this weekend for T-Ball and saw that the part of the park that was just renovated was being redone while the part that needs help (cemment bottom) was untouched.

  • The Banneker Playground needs it — i think the homeless people who live in the tunnel slides have been there so long D.C. delivers them mail.

    I’m guessing in true ghetto-fab style, the city will keep the chain link fences and not run off the bums –

    Maybe Mayor Gray should call these renovations – upgrading the summer accommodations for D.C.’s most historic and valued citizens.

  • Anyone notice a theme among which quadrant of the city is receiving most public funds for renovations?

    • I wonder if there are more playgrounds in NW than the other quadrants… but i wonder in a not so transparently rancorous tone.

  • I live right next to a fairly new playground in Ledroit Park. Within months of opening it had broken structures and graffiti. At night its filled with 13 year olds smoking blunts and throwing rocks at each other (this doesn’t happen every night but almost). The neighborhood dealers use the park as a look out spot because of its clear vistas. Occasionally I see the DCPD there but not nearly enough.

    • You forgot about the 10 year olds throwing rocks at all the toddlers and their parents during the day.

      • When I lived on Adams kids would just use the little playground across from the G2 bus stop to throw rocks. Looks like they’ve upgraded to new shiny rocks.

  • Some of your recs may not need renovating, but Harrison Rec at 13th and V, NW sure does. it is used by many of the charter schools for Phys Ed and the facility is in horrible shape with old/broken playground equipment, and grounds. The small facilty is also outdated and run down.

    It has a Friends group, but the work it needs was beyond what it could do.

  • Forest Hills is already an awesome park, but it doesn’t seem like it needs a lot except a bathroom.

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