Key upgrades to the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s (DCHA) Benning Terrace Recreation Center in Ward 7 completing a multi-year thriving sports, recreation, and activity space for Benning Terrace residents of all ages – from young people to seniors.
DCBIA volunteers (architects, building owners, engineers, general contractors, and other professionals in the real estate development industry) along with Benning Terrace residents and leadership completed Phase I of the partnership by optimizing the existing features of the Benning Terrace Recreation Center and expanding the uses of the nearly 60-year old facility and its surrounding outdoor areas. The volunteer work included: performing minor interior repairs, interior painting, installing new kitchen cabinets and appliances, building work stations, adding furniture, installing lockers, creating a foosball playing area, polishing floors, adding outdoor storage for the Benning Terrace Soldiers football team equipment, repairing concrete steps around the site, and other needed enhancements.
DCBIA and DCHA volunteers returned to the site to complete the upgrades, including creating outdoor playground games, installing new outdoor exercise equipment, adding permanent shade structures, upgrading the community garden, creating a walking path, adding picnic benches, installing art stations and site signage, and extensive general landscaping. DCHA also completed extensive stormwater management work over seven acres of the 12.5-acre site, including creating new mains, inlets, and retention ponds to reduce flooding at the property. The authority also rerouted utility wires to the football field and replaced ballasts and bulbs allowing the Benning Terrace Soldiers to practice and play games at home and at night. New fencing and a gate were also built.
“We have created an amazing partnership with DCHA over the last three years,” said Lisa Mallory, CEO of DCBIA. “December will be our third year bringing holiday cheer to Benning Terrace residents in addition to the design and construction work of our volunteers. The fact that residents unanimously renamed their Center, at one of our meetings, to the ‘Benning Terrace Community Center’ instead of ‘Recreation’ Center tells the whole story. Such meaningful feedback to recognize our 25th year.”
“We are grateful to the DCBIA Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the Community Services Corporation, and the annual financial sponsorship of our donors for their leadership,” said Bill McIntosh, President of the DCBIA Community Services Corporation. “The hundreds of volunteer hours the design and general contracting teams have put in to design and execute this major renovation, through many challenges, is quite commendable. We look forward to seeing all the volunteers on Saturday to complete the job.”
“DCBIA’s volunteers have done so much to beautify, renovate, and uplift DCHA’s communities,” said DCHA Interim Executive Director Nathan Bovelle. “The continuing partnership with DCBIA has been fantastic for our families—especially the youth at Benning Terrace.”