Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

For those wondering about the status of the Capper Community Center, now looking fresh and all-but-finished in its spot on 5th Street SE between K and L, I checked in this week with the DC Housing Authority, demanding that they give me an update, forthwith! And they did!
Getting the bad news out of the way first: the negotiations between DCHA and its original unnamed choice to operate the center "reached a natural conclusion without an agreement to move forward," according to DCHA spokesman Rick White. This means that the agency is "looking at alternatives," but any new agreement does not appear to be in the immediate future. That said, I have heard unconfirmed rumors that there will be some sort of "programming" at the center this summer--if that indeed turns out to be the case, the building will at least then not stand completed-but-empty while waiting for a deal to be struck with a new operator.
But there is a more pressing issue, which is that because of construction at Van Ness Elementary, the new building has been tapped to function as the Precinct 131 polling station for DC's primary election day on Tuesday, June 14. Even though the center does not yet have its official Certificate of Occupancy, spokesman White says that a temporary certificate of occupancy is in the works, and that DCHA is "not expecting any issues around the election."
So, other than snagging a peek in the gym on Tuesday when you go vote (because OF COURSE you are going to go vote), everyone will just have to gaze longingly at the new building's exterior a little while longer. At least it looks nice in the bright early June sun.
And in case you don't quite remember what this site used to look like, this slider can help. As can the project page.
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RDS554 says: (6/9/16 7:32 PM)
I am Shocked. Shocked I tell you. That DCHA could screw up something they had over 10 years to get right.....

DCHA needs to be audited with a microscope (and a prosecutor on standby). There may be more incompetent and corrupt agencies but if there are they are probably in some third world rathole.


conngs0 says: (6/9/16 10:31 PM)
I'd certainly be curious to know what happened with that unnamed operator. In all honesty, I'd almost rather the community center remain empty than have it open under bad management though. So hopefully whenever they do find an operator they enter into a good arrangement.


MJM says: (6/10/16 12:45 AM)
Build it and they won't come.


dude says: (6/10/16 8:33 AM)
DC can screw anything up. That's the pleasure of living here.

As for the center itself, our dog likes to pee in the grass out front, so it's not a total waste.


jdc says: (6/10/16 8:48 AM)
I don't get why the government doesn't run this place itself. That always sort of seemed silly. But are places like this usually outsourced?


conngs0 says: (6/10/16 11:13 AM)
I'm not sure what the norm is regarding the running of community centers in DC.

However, I recall at the Ward 6 safety meeting at Chamberlain Elementary School several months ago, one of the speakers (perhaps the Housing Authority police officer?) made the point that in some cases, the community centers were understaffed to the point where they became a source of crimes and disturbances, and one of DPR's priorities was to improve the staffing at the existing community centers. It's been awhile, so my memory is a little foggy on precisely what was said, but the comment certainly dampened my excitement for the Capper Community Center.

That DPR is having issues securing a manager for this particular center might be a positive sign that they are trying to get the right folks in place (or it's a sign that they'll give the contract to the lowest bidder and squander what looks to be a very nice new facility). Time will tell!


JES says: (6/11/16 12:42 AM)
So like... is there even a floorplan available? What made it in? Gymnasium? Racketball? Weights? Like, wtf is in that building?


202_cyclist says: (6/13/16 9:48 PM)
Guns making people safer....

"DC Police Department
5 minutes ago
DC Police Department ?@DCPoliceDept
Shooting at 2125 hrs in the 900 block of 5th Street SE. Lookout for: 4 door Navy blue Nissan Sedan, Partial DC Tag: EX224."


dude says: (6/13/16 10:46 PM)
It was a lot of shots too. Maybe we can build a wall?


conngs0 says: (6/14/16 9:47 AM)
Will be looking forward to getting some details on last night's shooting. Even though the event occurred in the evening, it's pretty scary for that happen so close to the community center and the school. Hopefully it proves to be an anomaly.

On the subject of the community center, I took advantage of the opportunity to get a quick peek this morning. It's a brand new building, so of course it looked nice (including the Green Bay Packers color scheme!). In all seriousness, the basketball court looked good and I can't wait to try it out! But the key will indeed be getting good management in there. Hopefully DCCHA does a good job of picking its team and doesn't simply bring in the lowest bidder.


JHUGrad says: (6/14/16 10:05 AM)
Just voted in the new Community Center. They did a great job with it. Glad to see they have a regulation sized basketball court. If they can find the right management for this building, this will be a great amenity for the community.

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