Friends of Kennedy Playground
March 12th, 2002
Public Meeting on Design and Programs at the New Kennedy Rec Center
Held at Shaw Junior High School Auditorium, 10th Street & Rhode Island Avenue NW
Suman Sorg, the architect, conducted a general presentation on the design of the building and grounds. This presentation was followed by a brief review of design concerns identified by the Friends of Kennedy Playground, presented by Randy Wells. These concerns include:
Number of parking spaces: 32 parking spaces are far in excess of the number that ought to be required for this urban rec center with close access to Metro, bus-lines, thousands of residents within walking distance, and substantial on-street parking;
Apparent loss of water sprinkler feature: this element has long been one of the most popular and heavily used on the playground, and must be included;
Name on building and grounds: strong community insistence that the building remain the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, as dedicated, and the grounds remain the Kennedy Playground, and that all signage reflect this;
Regret over the loss of an overhang at the rear of the gym: concern was expressed that the overhang was excluded from the final design, losing an area for users of the outdoor courts and fields to shelter in sudden inclement weather;
Vinyl floor tile color: consideration of more than one color, perhaps a different color in the classrooms, and a need to see a sample of the tile proposed and a photo showing the space where it is used so that we can make an informed opinion (the architect suggested a yellow tile used at a project in American University);
Security: interest that the lighting along the 7th and O Street sides of the gym, and along the 7th street entrance be sufficient to maintain safety and highlight the building.
A question period followed from those in attendance, raising the following set of issues:
Maintenance of Tennis & Basketball Courts—general concern about proper maintenance of the outdoor courts and protection from improper use; courts will be surrounded by fencing and can be locked; protection and maintenance will need to be included in programming plans.
Parking—Why 32 spaces? Very strong consensus that this is an outrageous amount of spaces to be required. CM Construction rep indicated it could be changed, but that the request would need to come from Office of Property Management. Access is needed for garbage truck access; architect also notes that some asphalt can be used for skateboarding and the like.
Wood Veneer—concern about long term maintenance; architect indicated that it is more durable than drywall, with a factory finish; maintenance will need to be included in programming.
Heating and Cooling System—one HVAC for the gym, one for the building, 2 units, 20 ton system should more than suffice; maintenance will be essential however, because if the HVAC is down, there is no “open windows” option; concern about experience of needing to replace gym floors elsewhere in the city due to moisture problems.
Sprinkler System—there is a recessed sprinkler head fire system.
Security System—DPR is responsible for installing security sensors, alarms and cameras; conduits and wiring will be provided by the contractor.
Lighting on Grounds—general lighting throughout ground, not ball field lighting currently included, will have to consider under separate contract if desired by community; architects will send a picture showing a light pole example.
Fence Gates—currently located at P Street for Pedestrian and Auto entrance, and O Street, near the little league field. We had expected more entrances, and should work on this.
Fence Material—wrought iron simple design, sample image or section requested. Design sounds solid but uninspiring, concern about being high enough at ball field to protect from flyballs. Fencing around courts is chain link, color not indicated—should be painted black too.
Sign/Banner—a 3’ x 6’ or 4’ x 8’ banner is in the works showing the building design to be hung outside for public.
Picnic Area—basically the same as today.
Following the design discussion, Roy Fagin from the Department of Parks and Recreation discussed programming issues for the new center.
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