Basketball Only? What Do Georgetowners Really Want at Jelleff?

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Shawn Osborn, DPW Director Delano Hunter, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Elizabeth Miller and Jelleff's Bob Stowers on a tour of the Jelleff Recreation Center. Courtesy Elizabeth Miller.

They’re getting $7 million!

Ever since July 23, 2018, when more than a hundred enthusiastic patrons of the Jelleff Recreation Center at 3265 S St. NW, managed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, met to hear about the $7 million budgeted for the center’s renovation by the District Department of Parks and Recreation, the underlying question has been: for what, exactly?

Many ideas were offered that night. But, overwhelmingly, the most numerous and passionate were from the dozens of basketball clubs, leagues and groups that use the one court in the single all-purpose gym. They wanted, needed, could definitely use on a full-time basis a second multipurpose (but mainly basketball) court. A larger budget should be negotiated for other programs,

Since then, no other meetings have been held. The $7 million remains budgeted. “There has been very little community involvement,” wrote Elizabeth Miller, a new member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E.

“After reflection and conversations with my colleagues on ANC 2E, we feel it is important to take a more multi-dimensional look at how to engage Georgetown-Burleith residents about this project,” Miller wrote The Georgetowner on Jan. 14.

“As you know, the only community meeting was attended almost exclusively by a group set on advocating for a second basketball court. That may be what the broader Georgetown community also wants, but the point is that we aren’t sure since we haven’t heard from them. We would like to see the community center renovated with input from all stakeholders and certainly with input from the neighborhood.”

The ANC recently organized a 10-question online survey for distribution to Jelleff Recreation Center stakeholders. One of the questions is “What types of programs would you use if they were offered at Jelleff?” The responses to choose from are: Music; Soccer; Early Childhood Co-op; Basketball; Senior Programming; Computer Programming; Smart Phone/Tablet Classes; Language; Art and Photography; Fitness/Exercise; Yoga, Ballet, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Fencing, Movement; Theater; Movie Screenings; Informal Clubs; Cooking; Camps; Theater; Roller Skating; and Other (please specify).

The survey is available at surveymonkey.com/r/HGVQY7T.

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