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Mayor Fenty Celebrates Completion of New Athletic Fields

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Guest DC Government Worker

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Allen Y. Lew, Executive Director of the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM), DC Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clark E. Ray and DC Public School coaches and student athletes celebrated the latest round of new athletic facilities today at Cardozo Senior High School. The Cardozo stadium is one of 11 such projects nearing completion.


OPEFM has worked throughout the summer and early fall on athletic field renovations at six DC Public Schools and at five other fields operated by either the DC Department of Recreation or the DC Housing Authority. Besides the Cardozo stadium, projects include: Anacostia, Eastern and Spingarn Senior High Schools: Stanton and J.O. Wilson Elementary Schools; Banneker Park, Fort Stanton Park, Ridge Park, Riggs-LaSalle Park (adjacent to LaSalle Elementary) and the field and playgrounds at the Benning Terrace public housing complex.


“Last year’s successful installation of professional quality turf fields at six of our high schools was just the start,” said Mayor Fenty. “OPEFM continues to lead the city toward not only innovative approaches to school modernization, but also making sure that we are at the vanguard of providing safe, healthy athletic and recreational facilities for citizens, particularly our children. These fields are simply fantastic.”


“These fields demonstrate our commitment to providing the best products for our students, both inside the school and for their athletic and recreational activities,” said Lew. “These fields were part of the $200 million effort on schools this summer and we could not be prouder of the results.”


Generally, all athletic fields underwent major repairs, renovations and upgrades, such as:

• Installing FieldTurf, with appropriate drainage and irrigation systems installed under the artificial turf;

• Removing existing track and replacing with professional-grade sports surface outdoor track;

• Repairing, replacing, re-aiming or retrofitting existing field lighting, as appropriate. Such work includes installing a Musco “Light Structure Green” lighting system.

• Repairing and/or expanding bleacher seating;

• Providing new press boxes and radio-controlled electronic scoreboards;

• Installing solid, cast-iron fencing around the athletic complex perimeter;

• Providing and installing, as appropriate, new field markings, new football goal posts, end zone pylons, goal post pads, free-standing portable discus cages and mobile soccer goal packs.


“Today is another step forward in District government agencies working together to ensure that youth athletes of our city have the best athletic and recreational options possible,” said DPR Director Clark E. Ray. “Through this partnership we are even closer to realizing Mayor Fenty’s vision that the District of Columbia would be a world-class city which attracts and cultivates world-class athletes.


DPR has committed approximately $9.9 million to OPEFM for renovating four of its athletic fields – Fort Stanton Recreation Center, Ridge Road Recreation Center, Banneker Recreation Center and Riggs-LaSalle Community Center.


The agency recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Riggs LaSalle Premier Athletic Field, the first of these renovations, last Friday, Oct, 3. The $3.4 million project converted the previous football/soccer field and 60 and 90-foot baseball diamonds into a new FieldTurf artificial turf playing surface, with inlaid game lines and markings. The baseball diamonds feature colored artificial turf infield cut-outs, using brown turf along the base paths and a combination of green and brown colored turf in the interior of the infield. Brand new features such as seating for 500 spectators, a press box, scoreboard and goal posts were constructed as well as improvements in lighting, repairs and additions to existing fencing and improved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access.

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