From Allison Acosta. Email her at allison[AT]borderstan.com.
The Harrison Playground and Recreation Center, located in the 1300 block of V Street NW, is closed for renovations starting immediately. Construction is expected to continue throughout the summer, with the playground reopening in August. The baseball field will remain open during construction, but the rest of the site will be closed to the public. The project is part of Mayor Gray’s “Play DC” initiative which will improve 32 playgrounds across the city this year.
LSG Landscape Architecture designed the playground with input from the Department of Parks and Recreation and the community, especially the Friends of Harrison Recreation Center. The play space will be expanded slightly to encompass the trees that are currently in the baseball field.
Features of Renovated Playground
The entire playground will have a musical theme throughout, a nod to the U Street corridor’s cultural history. Features of the newly designed play space include:
- A splash playground area, swings and separate play areas for ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12
- Picnic benches, cooking grills and water fountains
- Improved LED lighting on the basketball court and power outlets on the baseball field
- Green features, including a permeable foam playground surface, a rain garden and community planters
- Seating, including small bleachers for the baseball field
- New rodent-resistant garbage and recycling cans
The Bennett Group is heading up construction of the project. They expect to begin surveying the site this week and will begin demolition shortly thereafter. They plan to use a curb cut already existing on V Street to access the site, and do not expect to need additional street parking in front of the site to accommodate construction equipment.
They will be constructing a temporary fence in the foul area of the baseball field to accommodate construction vehicles, and will coordinate with the field’s permitted users when construction of the fences is underway. The expected hours of construction are Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Most of the construction noise should be limited to the demolition period.
DPR will be updating their website with the plans for the project within the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can get a sneak peak at what the playground will look like in the photos below. DPR’s Stacie West says that DPR is committed to buying high quality equipment that will be durable for years to come. DPR is also working on a contract to have all playground surfaces inspected and repaired annually.
The improved space should make Harrison a real neighborhood destination, whether you are a parent with young children looking to cool off in the sprayground, have an older child at one of the three nearby charter schools that frequent the playground or are looking for a good place to have a picnic or read a book under a tree.