Community Recreation Center - 94

Community Recreation Center

Location: Prince George’s County, MD
Date: 2002 - 2002
Size: 22,000 SF
Scope: Design of a new community/recreation
Client: UrbanAmerica

This project exemplifies SPA’s “architectural activism” and ability to inspire community-based initiatives. In conducting a project feasibility study for a client, we were able to convince them to develop a derelict piece of land on their property into a community park as a way of investing into the community, which had long been disenfranchised. After meeting with community leaders and members of the local police department, whom have a satellite precinct adjacent to the site, interest became widespread. Under the police department’s surging we were asked to transform the project into a Community Recreation Center that could integrate with their community outreach and youth programs. As contribution to this effort, our client hired us outside of our initial contract to execute three separate schemes for the 22,000 SF building with a construction cost budget between 4 and 5 million dollars.

In the subsequent months since our designs were unveiled to community leaders, the project has gained public funding and political support from the community. It serves as an example of how public and private interests, with the help of community groups, can collaborate to imagine a better tomorrow. As for our part, we continue to be an integral part of a team that is attempting to develop the first public structure to be built in Prince George’s County in the last 30 years.