Montgomery County’s newest recreation center will hold its ribbon cutting Saturday to mark the completion of construction.
County Executive Ike Leggett and other local officials are expected to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center at 14715 Good Hope Road site in Silver Spring. The new center, located in a predominantly black neighborhood in Montgomery County, is the fourth of its kind to undergo a massive overhaul after a decades-long fight for change.
Along with the construction of the Good Hope Center, the renovations of the Bette Carol Thompson Scotland Center in Potomac, the Ross Boddy Community Center in Sandy Spring and the Plum Gar Community Recreation Center in Germantown, all situated in historically black areas of the county, came in recent years. According to the advocacy group Action in Montgomery, neighborhood leaders have struggled to get “even basic repairs” in these community centers since the early 1990s.
“These are people who are living on land that their ancestors bought when they were freed from slavery,” said Cynthia Marshall, a spokeswoman for Action in Montgomery. “And they had given land to the county to build a community center, and they were being neglected.”
The 14,000-square-foot Good Hope building sits on the same land as the one it replaces, though it is more than twice the size. The outdated former facility, built in the 1970s, did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Key structures within the building, such as its electrical system, exterior walls, elevators and roof had long exceeded their useful service life, according to officials.
With the completion of the new recreation center, the Montgomery County Department of Recreation in partnership with the Strathmore will provide educational and art and music activities in the facility. The old recreation center had been mostly used for one after-school program run by the police department, according to Marshall.
Construction began in spring 2016, according to project documents, and the center finally broke ground the following December, in a ceremony attended by Leggett and members of the County Council.
Good Hope will house new sports and fitness facilities, a gymnasium, weight room, social hall, game room, outdoor softball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, a baseball field and an “outdoor spray ground” during the summer months.
The Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.