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Mayor Bowser Breaks Ground on Anacostia Recreation Center at Ketcham Elementary School

Monday, August 21, 2023

$15 million investment will provide programming and services to the community and nearby Ketcham Elementary School.

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser broke ground on the Anacostia Recreation Center at Ketcham Elementary School. In addition to serving the community, the new recreation will also serve the students and community at adjacent Ketcham Elementary School.

“When we were here in 2019 celebrating a new child development center at Ketcham, we talked about what it means for families and children to be able to stay in the same school community as they grow up. And with this new recreation center, we can keep young people connected to their communities even longer,” said Mayor Bowser. “This site, which is already a critical hub of services in the community, will soon provide world-class DPR programming to residents of all ages.”

The new $15 million facility will join the existing Anacostia Recreation Center in providing residents with Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) programming and access to state-of-the-art resources including:

  • Full-size gymnasium and fitness center
  • Basketball court
  • Demonstration kitchen
  • Classrooms and multipurpose rooms
  • Free internet access
  • Playgrounds for children ages 2-12
  • Multi-use outdoor field
  • Walking paths
  • Promenade connecting 14th and 15th Streets SE

In addition to these amenities, the recreation center will also house a standalone generator, which will allow the center to function independently for up to 72 hours in the event of a community power outage.

“We are thrilled to be breaking ground today on the new Anacostia Recreation Center at Ketcham Elementary School and bring even more opportunity to Ward 8 students and residents to grow, thrive, and play,” said Department of General Services (DGS) Acting Director Delano Hunter. “As part of Mayor Bowser’s leadership, this facility shows her vision of a safer, stronger DC with facilities that support our communities, families, and futures.”

Since 2020, DGS has collaborated with the DPR and DC Public Schools (DCPS) to develop a plan and ensure this new facility will meet the needs of local residents. This process included community input from key constituencies such as students and seniors. The result is a community center designed by and intended for the community it will serve.

“We are proud to break ground on a new location and new recreation center in Anacostia, where there is a great need for this amenity,” said DPR Acting Director Thennie Freeman. “We are also excited that it will have new technology including a generator that can power the facility for up to 72-hours with uninterrupted access and delivery of our programs during a power outage.”

The project was also designed to exceed LEED Silver Certification standards. The LEED building certification program is an initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” and focuses on encouraging a more sustainable approach to the way buildings are designed, constructed and operated. DLR Architects and Chiaramonte Construction are key external partners on this project.

The new Anacostia Recreation Center at Ketcham Elementary School is expected to open and begin community programming in Fall 2024.