(Washington, DC) Mayor Muriel Bowser today cut the ribbon on the new Marvin Gaye Recreation Center in Ward 7. The Mayor was joined at the celebratory Marvin Gaye Day by Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Greer Gillis, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Keith Anderson, Donnie Simpson, and members of Gaye’s family.
“We are honored to celebrate and honor a DC native who brought so much joy to our world with a fantastic recreation center that will continue bringing joy to our community,” said Mayor Bowser. “The Marvin Gaye Recreation Center was a collaboration between DC Government and the community and we are proud to deliver a facility that will benefit residents for years to come.”
The new $14-million Marvin Gaye Recreation Center replaces the Watts Branch Recreation Center with a two-story 7,700 square-foot recreation center, with exterior amenities and improvements along the existing Marvin Gaye Trail. The building features a music room, teaching kitchen, art gallery space, tech lounge, fitness center, and a senior room with floating balcony. Other exterior improvements include a new playground with musical elements, NBA regulation basketball courts, and a new practice field for soccer, football, and baseball. The new recreation center also includes a number of sustainability features, including: natural ventilation, perforated screens to control daylight and solar gain, a green roof, an energy efficient HVAC system, LED light features, low-flow toilet features, and gravel pathways throughout the site to reduce stormwater runoff.
“We want to give people a piece of Marvin with the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center – where he grew up and in the park he wrote early songs,” said DPR Director Keith Anderson. “Hopefully this will inspire the District as much as the District inspired him.”
The Mayor broke ground on the new recreation center in late 2016 after DGS and DPR hosted six community meetings on the design for the new facility and its exterior amenities, ensuring community members had an opportunity to provide feedback on the new facility.
Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has built or modernized 10 community centers, 10 fitness centers, three tech lounges, and 13 playgrounds. The Marvin Gaye Recreation Center was designed by IStudio Architects and constructed by MCN Build through DGS.