New Bruce-Monroe Interim Use Plan Unveiled

Development plan as of May 26, 2010, for the first phase of the Bruce-Monroe site


The interim development plan of the former Bruce-Monroe school site has been updated to address many of the programming needs identified at community meetings earlier this year. This was due in large part to additional funding. 

When a revised design was presented to the community on March 31, 2010, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) only had $500,000 to work with and only truly proposed building a tennis court, basketball court, and installing a security fence around the property. 

On May 26, 2010, Councilmember Jim Graham announced that an additional $1.5 Million had been secured for developing the site. At last night’s Georgia Avenue Community Task Force meeting, Andre Byers — a project manager at DMPED — was on hand to present an updated plan that also dates to May 26. 

The area along Columbia Road is already being prepared for the athletic courts


In addition to the original tennis court and basketball court, as second basketball court has been added as well as two tot lots and a parking lot for visitors to the park. While DMPEDs original proposal to make the entire site a parking lot was successfully defeated by well-organized neighbors, Byers stated that zoning required the parking spaces included on the plan, even if the site was being used on an interim basis. Work on phase one is scheduled to be completed by mid- to late-July.  The initial development will not include water or lighted courts. The only lighting that will be in place will be for security purposes. 

The Site and Utilities Improvement Plan indicating the types of improvements planned

An area will be reserved for a future urban garden, and the athletic courts have been relocated along Columbia Road to free up the northwest corner of the property for a farmers market. Due to zoning restrictions, only the property along Georgia Avenue can be used commercially. The remainder of the property is zoned R-4 residential. 

The second phase will include water and lighting for the athletic courts entire site. There will be no designated lighting for the basketball courts. Programming and permitting for the second phase will occur while the initial development is underway, and may even begin before the first phase is completed. 

Finally, a building of some sort will be located at the center of the property to support educational programs and other community needs.  Whether it is a trailer or permanent structure does not appear to be settled at this time. When pressed on how the $2 Million was to be used, Byers responded that it was all allocated for construction, development, and programming. The current budget does not have specific line item allocations. Once completed, the site would be operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation, and maintenance costs would need to come from them.

Note: Updated @ 10:57, 6/24/10


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12 Comments on “New Bruce-Monroe Interim Use Plan Unveiled”

  1. Nyasha Smith Says:

    Thanks for the information and your vigilence.

  2. ~~~mh Says:

    The “schooling” on that property will now only happen on the bball courts. HA!

  3. Iwan Bagus Says:

    I hope there will be a fenced in area for dogs to run (with some restrictions, for example: potentially aggressive dogs). There is no dog parks in Columbia Heights.

    • Miles Says:

      There is a dog park at Park and 11th I believe. Not that I oppose another one 🙂

    • K. Harris Says:

      Check with Jim Graham’s office, there is at least two (2) dog parks in Columbia Heights within walking distance.

  4. Elf Says:

    I wonder if the community garden will be fenced, and how to get a plot?

  5. Allison Says:

    I live right by this lot on Harvard Street. I am glad someone FINALLY came to talk to the Ga. Ave task force but the lack of communication with the neighborhood in this project has been atrocious.

    This might be a stupid question, but are the green circles trees? I love trees, but it does not make sense to put them in the community garden section. The gardeners will likely want full sun for their vegetables, and the trees will mess up a grid for plots.

    Although if they are community fruit trees … that might be another thing. 🙂

    • Kent Says:

      The circles on the plan do represent trees (and bushes). Interestingly, I don’t recall anyone talking about trees at the presentation.

  6. db Says:

    i seem to recall someone working on another garden saying city folks had expressed some desire to experiment with fruit trees.

    Keep mind even planted oaks will be babies, not shafing much of anything for a good 10 years.

    Plums are quite ripe west of the police station on park road. Can’t attest to taste or toxicology, though…

  7. […] Unfortunately, one of the basketball courts has been torn up and started over. Apparently there was a problem with its construction. You can see the plan for the current Bruce-Monroe project here>> […]

  8. […] If you haven’t already seen the earlier post on the plans for this site, you can see them here>> Behind the Irving Street parking lot is the second of two tot […]

  9. […] the past five years the Bruce Monroe parcel located at Georgia and Irving has been a temporary park. Despite modest […]

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