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Mayor Bowser Breaks Ground on Marvin Gaye Recreation Center in Ward 7

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Greer Gillis, and Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Keith Anderson to break ground on the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and Trail. The project includes demolishing the existing field house and constructing a new state-of-the-art recreation facility.

“My Administration is committed to making every ward and every neighborhood in Washington, DC a great place for residents to live, work, and play,” said Mayor Bowser. “By building the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and making enhancements to the trail, we are not just investing in a building – we are investing in a community and creating new opportunities for residents.”

The new Marvin Gaye Recreation Center, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017, will be a two-story, 7,200 square-foot facility with the following features:

  • community room
  • senior room
  • teen area
  • computer lab
  • fitness room
  • music room
  • teaching kitchen
  • two new outdoor high school-sized basketball courts 
  • new outdoor NBA-sized basketball court

During construction, DPR and DGS will also make improvements to the Marvin Gaye Trail - one of the longest trails under the purview of DC Government. Enhancements to the Marvin Gaye Trail will include a community garden, a new fitness station, a splash pad, and new plantings in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Meadow.

“As a champion for Ward 7, I am thrilled to see continued progress in the community,” said Councilmember Alexander. “The planning and advocacy for the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center is evident of the strong commitment and partnership between Ward 7 residents and city officials. I am pleased that the Bowser Administration has worked with me to make sure this happened.”

To ensure community members had an opportunity to provide feedback on the new recreation center, DGS and DPR hosted six community meetings on the design for the new facility and its exterior amenities.

“Today’s groundbreaking is another example of the Bowser Administration’s commitment to working with the community to elevate the quality of life for District residents,” said DGS Director Greer Johnson Gillis.

The Marvin Gaye Recreation Center will also include a number of energy and sustainability features, including a green vegetated roof and gravel pathways throughout the site to reduce stormwater runoff.

“As a native Washingtonian and a huge Marvin Gaye fan, it is an honor to be able to break ground for a facility that pays tribute to one of DC’s finest artists,” said DPR Director Keith A. Anderson. “This recreation center will not only carry on the legacy of Marvin Gaye, it will also serve the community by offering programs and activities that meet the needs of Ward 7 residents.”

Throughout 2016, the Bowser Administration opened the new Ridge Road Community Center in Ward 7; modernized the Benning Stoddert Community Center in Ward 7; renovated the Oxon Run Pool in Ward 8; installed two solar-powered Wi-Fi Soofa benches at the Columbia Heights Plaza and the Eastern Market Plaza; installed the first concession stand at Banneker Pool in Ward 1; and upgraded five fitness centers and three playgrounds.

For more information about the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and Trail Project, visit