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NW "turtle" park redo begins next month

A rendering of the new spray park at Friendship

A rendering of the proposed community center

Friendship “Turtle” Park is getting a makeover. Renovation of both the rec center and playground at 4500 Van Ness Street NW is scheduled to begin next month, or November at the latest. It'll be be completed by May of 2015, just in time for summer.
The $7 million renovation involves demolition of the old recreation center and construction of a new one triple its size. The current rec center is about 1,300 square feet; the new, one-story rec center is not set in stone, but early plans call for a 5,200-square-foot structure. The building will be built to LEED Silver or Gold certification, according to Kenneth Diggs of D.C.’s Department of General Services. 
Diggs said the new recreation center will be “state-of-the-art, with large spaces” for a variety of activities. It will contain a community room, new kitchen, arts and craft room, co-op area and restrooms that are accessible from inside and outside the building. 
The park renovation includes a new tot lot and a new play area for teenagers. The new tot lot will be about 9,500 square feet and the new play area about 5,000 square feet. There will also be a new splash pad.
DGS is also resurfacing the basketball and tennis courts, and installing new landscaping, lighting upgrades, new benches, and improved signage and walkways.
Diggs said the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is currently meeting with community members and the contractor to come up with a theme for the park. “They’re collaborating on the design,” he said.
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