by Borderstan.com May 8, 2013 at 10:00 am 1,490 0

"Harrison"

Harrison Playground and Recreation Center Renovation plans. (Courtesy Bennet Group)

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.

"Harrison"

Features of the renovated Harrison Playground and Recreation Center.

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by Borderstan.com November 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,733 1 Comment

"Harrison"

Harrison Recreation Center is on the 1300 block of V Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWBP (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

As a parent living in Borderstan, I am very interested in having improved play spaces for our community’s children. I know I’m not alone. One of the sacrifices we make living in such an urban area is the general absence of private backyards big enough to run around in. Our parks and play spaces are wonderful places to meet as a community and enjoy being outside. I enjoy taking Baby on walks around Borderstan, and we often go to Stead Park because it is close to where we live, but I’m always looking for new places for her to run around and play. Harrison Recreation Center, located on V Street NW, between 13th and 14th streets, is one I’ve been meaning to check out and I was excited to hear that it is due to get some updates.

“Washington Gas will sponsor an open house at the Harrison Recreation Center this Saturday, November 17th, from 11:30-1:30pm.  There will be light refreshments and activities for the kids, and it will provide a wonderful opportunity for the community to see the recent renovations that have been completed. The event is rain or shine.”

The Friends of Harrison Recreation Center held a meeting at the Source on Thursday, November 8, 2012, to get input from the community about playspace renovations for the center.  Harrison Recreation Center (HRC) has been identified as one of 32 play spaces that will be renovated by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) this fiscal year, with a total budget of $30 million to be divided among them.

Manisha Modi ([email protected]), the chair of the Friends of Harrison, a committee within the U Street Neighborhood Association, led the meeting. Manisha shared a conceptual design that the Friends of HRC had developed as part of a long-term vision of how to make HRC a neighborhood asset. She also described recently completed improvements to Harrison, which were paid for by Washington Gas. These included repaving the basketball courts and infrastructure improvements in the building, such as a new HVAC system, a new water heater, new cabinets and appliances in the kitchen, landscaping and interior and exterior painting. Manisha then facilitated a discussion to create a community wish list to be presented to the DPR for consideration during the playspace renovation process.

DPR’s current plan is focused on renovating the play spaces at the Harrison Recreation Center, but the Friends of HRC’s long-term goals include expanding what the Harrison Recreation Center can offer, which might include expansion of the existing building. The plans for improving the play spaces will not reduce the size of the sports field. The DPR representative and Friends of Harrison committee members were all quick to express their awareness of how important the sports field is to the community, and to ensure that it will be in no way diminished by these projected renovations.

Brian Card ([email protected]), president of the U Street Neighborhood Association, discussed some of the work they have been doing to help Harrison. The association has sponsored a movie series for the past three summers, as a means to raise community and local business awareness and to raise funds for the Friends of HRC. Brian said that the U Street Businesses “have been great partners in these events in providing funds or other services – such as the DJ that (the restaurant) Marvin has provided as part of the event.”

Norman Williams, the site manager at Harrison Recreation Center, said that the center is ready for transformation and open to ideas from the community.  Mr. Williams has been recognized by local residents for his efforts to improve HRC.

Brent Sisco ([email protected]), a landscape architect and representative of DPR, said that all of the 32 play spaces will receive the same standard amenities: lighting, seating, fences, trash receptacles, and signs. He pointed out the HRC was one of the higher priorities and would likely get more improvements. DPR will take into account the community’s input in deciding what renovations will be made, and has provided an email address for this purpose:  [email protected] The DPR has set a January 1, 2013 deadline for the completion and submission of the community plans. Construction would then begin between March 1st and March 15th, with a projected completion date of June or July. This timeline and the project budget are for the outside play spaces only.

Some of the ideas floated at the meeting were:

  1. separate area for small children
  2. creative activity equipment
  3. better lighting
  4. picnic spaces
  5. all weather play space surface (recycled rubber safety surface)
  6. shading
  7. water fountains
  8. multi-use water feature
  9. increased security

The first DPR meeting will be held at Banneker Community Center, at 2500 Georgia Avenue NW, on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6pm. DPR will facilitate a discussion about what the community wants for HRC.  The landscape architecture firm working with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Lewis Scully Gionet (LSG) Landscape Architecture, will be in attendance to hear the community’s ideas. Examples of completed play space projects will be presented at this meeting, along with the budgets for each, in order to give the community some idea of the possibilities.

Another meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 19th, again at 6pm, location TBA. At this meeting LSG Landscape Architecture will present design concepts based on the November 28th meeting , and get feedback from the community.

Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the meetings, and DPR would like to get the younger stakeholder’s views on what should be included in the plans for the rec center.

It is important for everyone to have access to safe and creative play spaces. These spaces need to be improved and maintained; they are an investment for and in our community. It’s reassuring that so many talented people are working together on this project. I look forward to getting involved in this process, and I encourage my fellow Borderstanians to attend the upcoming meetings and make their voices heard.

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by Borderstan.com June 26, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,365 0

U Street Movie Series, Friends of Harrison Rec Center, Borderstan

U Street Movie Series is at Harrison Recreation Center Field on the 1300 block of  V Street NW. (Brian Liu).

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

After having to cancel last month’s movie due to rain, the U Street Movie Series is back for its third year with the first movie of the season happening this Wednesday, June 27.

This Wednesday, join the U Street and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Associations at the Harrison Recreation Center field (the 1300 block of V Street NW) from 7 pm until 10 pm for “DC Cab.” An early Mr. T movie, “DC Cab” profiles an over-the-hill hippie who manages a run-down cab company and its oddball drivers — an aspiring pimp, a Rastafarian and a driver with no license.

The movie starts at sundown, but attendees are encouraged to come early, grab a spot and a bite to eat and listen to music spun by a local DJ from Marvin’s.

Admission to the event is free, but donations and sponsorships are accepted. All proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with the Department of Parks and Recreation to improve the Center through investments, design changes and programming.

Can’t make it this Wednesday? Upcoming movies in the series include, “Protocol” on July 25th, “The American President” on August 22nd and “The Pelican Brief” on September 26th.

For more information visit the U Street Movie Series website or the Facebook page.

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by Borderstan.com August 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm 0

August 23 Update: “Sorry folks, due to the DC Government and DPR closures, tonight’s U Street Movie Series – Harrison Field Under the Stars is cancelled. Stay tuned for the reschedule date.” – Movie Series Facebook Page

Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association, and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association continue a second season of films on Tuesday, August 23. The evening will feature National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, a 2007 adventure film set in DC. The film will be preceded by City of Cranes, a 14-minute documentary that takes viewers hundreds of feet in the air to view the world through the eyes of crane drivers.

Admission is free and films will be shown at the field at Harrison Recreation Center on V Street between 13th and 14th Streets, NW. Gates open at 7 pm. Attendees are encouraged to come early starting at 7 pm to picnic in the park, listen to music spun by local DJs. Please note that park regulations do not permit pets on the field. Free popcorn will be provided to the first 100 attendees beginning at 7 pm. Showtime is sundown but exact time will vary. Local food truck vendors will be on site serving food.

There will also be movies in September and October. Donations and sponsorships towards the event benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with the Department of Parks and Recreation to improve the recreation center through capital improvements design changes and enhance management and programming of the park, with the goal of making Harrison Recreation Center a better designed, cleaner, safer, and better park in the neighborhood for all to use and enjoy.

by Borderstan.com July 25, 2011 at 10:20 am 1,397 0

Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association, and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association continue a second season of films on Tuesday, July 26 with historical documentaries about treasured entertainment venues in the U Street area.

The evening will feature 930 F Street, about the history of the 9:30 Club, including interviews with several musicians, staff, and fans that frequented the club. The film will be preceded by Howard Theatre: A Century in Song, a television documentary detailing the history of the famed theatre at 7th and T Streets that launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, and is currently undergoing renovations.

Admission is free and films will be shown at the field at Harrison Recreation Center on V Street between 13th and 14th Streets, NW. Gates open at 7 pm. Attendees are encouraged to come early starting at 7 pm to picnic in the park, listen to music spun by local DJs. Please note that park regulations do not permit pets on the field. Free popcorn will be provided to the first 100 attendees beginning at 7 pm. Showtime is sundown but exact time will vary. Local food truck vendors will be on site serving food.

There will also be movies in August, September and October. Donations and sponsorships towards the event benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with the Department of Parks and Recreation to improve the recreation center through capital improvements design changes and enhance management and programming of the park, with the goal of making Harrison Recreation Center a better designed, cleaner, safer, and better park in the neighborhood for all to use and enjoy.

by Borderstan.com May 24, 2011 at 6:35 am 0

The U Street Movie Series is back with a second season, which gets underway on May 24 with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Gates open at 7 pm at the field of the Harrison Recreation Center on the 1300 block of V Street NW.

Admission is free, and all films, with the exception of October’s Waiting for Superman, will be shown outdoors at the field at Harrison Recreation Center on the 1300 block of V Street NW. Attendees are encouraged to come early, starting at 7 pm, to picnic in the park and listen to music spun by local DJs. Free popcorn will be provided to the first 100 attendees beginning at 7 pm by Ventnor Sports Cafe.

All shows will begin at sundown, so the exact times will vary. Several local food truck vendors will be on site serving food. On the June and August “family” nights, children can play in a moonbounce from 7 to 8:30 pm before the films.

Donations and sponsorships towards the event are accepted online and benefit Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, a nonprofit formed in 2009 that works directly with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. The movie series is organized by Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association. (See Summertime: U Street Movie Series Starts May 24.)

by Borderstan.com May 5, 2011 at 6:00 am 1,872 0

U Street Movie Series, Friends of Harrison Rec Center, Borderstan

The second summer of six movies at the Harrison Recreation Center field gets underway on May 24. Gates open at 7 pm and showtimes are at sundown. (Photo credit: Brian Liu, Toolbox DC)

The U Street Movie Series is back with a second season, which gets underway on May 24 with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Gates open at 7 pm at the field of the Harrison Recreation Center on the 1300 block of V Street NW — the same time for each film. 

A total of six films will be shown, one each month, May through October (the final movie will be indoors). Movies are held on Tuesday night with a rain date of the following Thursday. Full schedule is below the fold.

The movie series is organized by Friends of Harrison Recreation Center, the U Street Neighborhood Association and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association.

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