Jelleff Rec Center Schedule Sees New Complex in 2025          

It’s taken years, but the process to upgrade the Jelleff Recreation Center at 3265 S St. NW has definitely seen much progress.  The procedure to bring it into compliance with disability regulations began in 2017 with a proposed budget of $7 million.  Over the years and with much input from sports and Georgetown area community groups, a budget of $28.8 million was confirmed by the District Council in 2021, and a feasibility study for a completely renovated recreation center and public pool was approved.

On Nov. 7, some 50 Jelleff stakeholders — along with concerned advisory neighborhood commissioners — were presented with a schedule of dates for the completion of the plans and the reconstruction project iby Tommie Jones, Chief of External Affairs at the Department of Parks and Recreation, the point man for the project. The concept design stage, including at least four town meetings, is expected to take up fall 2022 to spring 2023, according to Jones and officials from the D.C. General Services office and the contractor DLR Group. The permit drawings and permit review process will last between summer of 2023 through spring of 2024. The construction procurement phase will take place spring of 2024 and construction will last 2024 though 2025.

Many questions were posed about the design. The feasibility study was a first take, according to several of the Jelleff Recreation Center participants. “It has some real problems,” said Facility Director Bob Stowers. There seemed to be general agreement that at the core the new center must have at least two full-sized indoor sports courts that can be used at the same time and that the sports locker rooms upstairs and the club rooms for the Boys and Girls Club in the basement must be substantially upgraded — as well as all having easy accessibility for handicapped persons.

Some sports users suggested that more space be made available for youth sports training. Space for pickleball courts outside were mentioned. Stowers urged that a large space be designed on each court for teams waiting their scheduled time to assemble safely. “They only have 45 minutes for their games and training,” he said. “They need to be nearby and ready as soon as their time begins.”

Some senior citizen spokespeople urged that there be place for senior activities, including yoga, pilates and other health activities as well as meeting rooms, making it Georgetown’s only senior center as well as a sports center.

There seemed to be no opposition for the proposal to move the current public swimming pool eastward on the property to make space for the expanded building and reconfigured parking lot.

“The DPR will take a strong lead during the project to ensure communication,” Jones said.  “We will try to avoid conflicts over wants and budgets.”

Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kishan Putta urged again that the newly formed Friends of Jelleff group be kept informed of developments. “It is a highly engaged group,” Putta said, as Jones nodded his agreement with a smile.

“What can we get for $28 million?” Putta asked. “We need to know the priorities. Let us see if we may need more funds for additional add-ons.” Friends of Jelleff members agreed.


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