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Mayor Bowser Breaks Ground on Modernization of Stead Park Recreation Center

Saturday, June 18, 2022
$15.4 Million Project to Expand Facility and Upgrade Outdoor Green Spaces

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and community members broke ground on the Stead Park Recreation Center in the Dupont Circle Historic District. The $15.4 million project will preserve the history of Stead Park while modernizing the grounds and expanding the facility to create more accessible, integrated spaces for exercise, play, and community engagement. The project will also deliver the first Net Zero Energy-Ready recreation space within the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) portfolio, project-managed by the Department of General Services (DGS).


“Families in DC love our parks and open spaces, and we love delivering spaces and facilities that meet the needs of our communities – which is what we will do right here at Stead Park,” said Mayor Bowser. “These continued investments and improvements are why the District, for the past two years, has been recognized for having the best park system in the nation.”


The project consists of a 1.5-acre park and an existing historic carriage house – named for Mary Force Stead – as the primary building entry. Upon completion in 2023, the project will offer additional indoor recreational spaces, improved playgrounds and outdoor gathering spaces, and improved lighting. The recreation center will also have a solar canopy that includes a high-performing renewable energy system to offset all or most of its annual energy consumption, operating with a “net zero” energy consumption to save tax dollars.


“Starting in 2017 we have been engaged with the community on what the future of Stead Park will become,” said DGS Director Keith A. Anderson. “I am pleased that we are breaking ground on a project that has recreational elements for everyone and that will save on energy costs for the District.”


The Stead Park modernization will honor Mary Force Stead’s wish that the space be “maintained for the perpetual use of the children of Washington,” as noted from the carriage house plaque honoring her memory. The Friends of Stead Park donated $500,000 to support this project.

“We at DPR are incredibly excited about the modernization of the existing carriage house at Stead and the construction of an addition to the recreation center that will help foster community engagement and provide quality recreational programming in this vibrant neighborhood of Dupont Circle,” said DPR Director Delano Hunter.

Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2023 Fair Shot Budget invests over $365 million over the next six years to improve parks and recreation facilities across the District. Additionally, the Mayor invested $13.5 million for “Recreation for A.L.L.” – a new DPR initiative to expand recreation offerings and ensure all District residents, particularly young people, have access to high-quality recreational programming.


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