Winning Soccer Stadium Benefits
CBCC is pleased to have successfully advocated for community benefits for our ANC6D residents as follows:
A. Benefits from the District of Columbia - Bill 20-557
Update on Randall Community Center
On August 11th and 26th, DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) met with ANC6D residents, local leaders, and community organizations, including CBCC, to discuss capital and program planning for Randall Recreation Center. DPR first clarified the current funding that is available:
1. $200K from the Bernstein Companies to replace doors and removing screens from windows (as part of their PUD agreement associated with the additional buildings complimenting the IM Pei buildings between the Library and M Street and 3rd Street);
2. $250K capital funding, which DPR is choosing to use to make Randall ADA compliant (water fountains, bathrooms, etc.). Capitol Park IV Board President Robert Hall and CBCC Vice Chair Fredrica Kramer expressed the need for coordination and balance between the spending of capital dollars for ADA improvements alongside the planned use and design of the building. For example, DPR should ensure they do not spend capital dollars to renovate a bathroom that will eventually be relocated within the building, and therefore changes for ADA compliance should be paced over time.
DPR architect Brent Sisco stated that total capital refurbishment of buildings like Randall typically cost $1-$1.5 million, and DPR’s Director, Keith Anderson will be making such request for the fiscal year 2017 budget. The community asked about the $250K soccer stadium capital funding. DPR stated that this money is not yet in the DPR budget, but they are requesting that those funds be reprogrammed so that they are available for additional support in FY 2015-16.
Mr. Sisco stated that there currently is no funding for programming in the DPR budget for Randall. DPR hopes to obtain community feedback on a survey that will help them identify programs so that staffing and a budget to support that may be requested in the fiscal year 2017 budget.
DPR agreed to publish the survey using our ANC, CBCC, SWNA, and other methods, perhaps using Survey Monkey as well as an announcement and insert in the Southwester to try to get a wider response by the end of September/October 1st. It was also suggested that because the survey instrument would never produce a representative sample, that DPR focus on a few programs that have been successful in other centers in order to start programming for Randall.
There were suggestions from ANC6D-5d Commissioner Rhonda Hamilton and others for more programs to target the teen population, including anger management, conflict resolution, and the Roving Leader Program, which has representatives already working in Southwest. SWNA Vice President Perry Klein formally requested that DPR provide internet service for the computers that SWNA donated for the computer lab.
CBCC Vice Chair Fredrica Kramer asked about the difference, if any, between a “recreation center” and a “community center,” because the community has hoped that Randall will serve as a multi-purpose community center, which Southwest does not have, and in order to engage and serve residents across the demographic spectrum in Southwest as its population grows. DPR said there is no real difference in terms of naming conventions – it sometimes depends on what the community wants to name a building, the design and size of the building, and how comprehensive the program offerings are within the building. DPR suggested that if there is a preference for Randall to be a “community center” that perhaps the community should consider establishing a “Friends” Park Partnership. A “Friends” group would also help the community work more closely with DPR on accountability for programs and activities at Randall. CBCC will be undertaking efforts to explore creation of a "Friends" group.
ANC6D – 2d Commissioner Stacy Cloyd and Eve Brooks urged DPR to press the Deputy Director of Education to approve the regulations that have been long-awaited and would allow programs operating in the center to charge fees on a sliding scale. This step will permit DPR facilities like Randall to charge for certain program offerings, which will assist with long-term program funding, while expanding the array of programs that may be offered to residents.
DPR then discussed how the process works for programming and getting a budget for Randall:
1. Tally community responses to determine what the target programs should be for Randall (we stressed that programming should serve all ages).
2. Determine the staffing needed, lead provider and partners, facility’s size and available accommodations.
3. Estimate costs to create and propose a budget to the DPR Director, who submits to Council (Cmte on Transportation and Environment – Councilmember Mary Cheh, Chair).
4. In light of necessary capital renovations to Randall, there should also be a review and proposed changes to the design of the building to ensure capital dollars are maximized to accommodate the planned programming.
Ward 6 Community Liaison, Naomi Mitchell offered that once DPR submits a program budget for approval, Councilmember Charles Allen will fully support it. Ms. Mitchell stated that the City has already poured a substantial amount of dollars and attention into the exterior grounds at Randall, and it only makes sense to revive the building. ANC6D-2d Commissioner Stacy Cloyd added that “[Randall] should not be the worst place on the block….it should be the best place on the block.”