Last June, the office of the mayor announced that the administration of Ellington Field — the seldom-used playing field of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, located between 39th Street and River Road NW — would be transferred from D.C. Public Schools to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The plan was to upgrade the field, which has an all-weather track and two field houses, at city expense and open it to all, with priority given to school athletic teams in the area. It could be an alternative playing field, especially for the growing athletic programs at Georgetown’s Hardy Middle School, which have been mostly left out of prime-time school-season access to the nearby field at the Jelleff Recreation Center.
At Jelleff, a 10-year contract between the private Maret School and DCPS for 10 weeks of prime-time use was recently renewed after Maret’s trustees committed more than $2 million to the field’s refurbishment and maintenance.
A November survey by the Burleith Citizens Association found, however, that neighbors of the Ellington field mainly wanted it to remain as it always has been: under DCPS control and for casual neighborhood use.
DPR has organized a community meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW, to discuss potential uses of the field.
“Come share your thoughts on what the athletic field needs,” Tommie Jones of DPR writes. “Help influence the future project design and learn how to get involved. Your attendance and input are greatly appreciated.”
The park has been used for years for community recreation and as a dog park. Dog owners at the park told The Georgetowner that they would not object to a small enclosed dog run on the property.