Montgomery Parks hopes to find alternative ways to raise revenues from closed buildings that are still usable, and available for leasing through a competitive bidding process to do so. – April 28, 2014
A progress report titled, Joint Workgroup Report and Recommendation Final Report (pdf) was completed and reviewed by the Montgomery County Park and Planning Commission and the County Council PHED committee. On November 3, 2009 it was reviewed by the full County Council.
The Department of Parks, M-NCPPC (Parks) and the Montgomery County Government’s Recreation Department (MCRD) fully support the PHED Committee’s desire to improve and streamline the delivery of county-funded recreation programs. Both agencies have worked diligently to examine the possible implications of facility and program transfers and identify opportunities to streamline and enhance customer service through improved technology and marketing.
The four areas examine service improvements that could be achieved in four distinct areas:
The Park Activity Buildings were one facility examined in the facilities review. The main recommendation for the PABs is as follows:
Please refer to the section titled: “Individual Workgroup Report: Facilities (Park Activity Buildings/Event Centers) in the final report (pdf) for further details.
Staff collected public input from the public on buildings in the “Transfer or Demolish” and “Historic Priority” categories.
Hillandale Recreation Center. Built in 1949. Renovated in 1985. Failing septic system.
Factors considered by staff in recommending possible demolition:The cost to extend public sewer service and general repairs exceeds value of the building. The availability of community meeting space in nearby schools soon to be renovated or rebuilt such as Key Middle School and Cresthaven Elementary School, The proposed White Oak Recreation Center will have community use space. The possible removal of the building will facilitate a comprehensive redesign of the Hillandale Local Park.
Randolph Hills Recreation Center. Navy Surplus building built in 1958. Possible rotting sill plates at foundation.
Factors considered by staff in recommending possible demolition:The cost to repair building deficiencies, the low level of public use; the availability of community meeting space at nearby Viers Mill Recreation Center; the possible removal of the building would allow relocation of new playground if desired.
The building is a WWII Navy surplus wood frame prefabricated structure converted to a recreation center in 1958. A 1995 Building Evaluation Study found rotting sill plates at foundation. If findings of 1995 study are verified and documented, the costs to fix and maintain the structure will increase beyond those costs currently known. Current users could be relocate to Viers Mill Recreation Center which is larger, newer, and designed and built as a recreation center.
Garrett Park Estates Local Park and Elementary School. Army Surplus Building built in 1940’s
Factors considered by staff in recommending that we explore transfer to Montgomery County Public Schools and relocate current tenant to more suitable building:The elementary school is being planned for demolition and reconstruction, renovation, redesign and expansion and use of property where recreation center is located would provide greater design flexibility for new school. The Old Garrett Park Elementary school is brick building with longer life cycle.
The existing Recreation Center has water, roof, and facade damage. The Recreation center is a WWII army surplus recreation building removed and reconstructed on the Garrett Park site around 1949-1951. The Recreation Center is located on property that adjoins Garrett Park Elementary School.
This property could provide a larger site for development of the new Garrett Park Estates Elementary School to provide safe bus ingress and egress and room for parent/student drop off and school parking.
Explore transfer of property to Montgomery County Public Schools. Relocate current tenants to more suitable building that was designed and built as a school.
Clarksburg Neighborhood Park. Built in 1969.
Factors considered by staff in recommending that we explore transferring the site to the Montgomery County Department of Recreation:The site is adjacent to the Clarksburg High School and Rocky Hill Middle School and merits evaluation when the Department of Recreation commences site selection for a new 33,000 sq. ft. recreation center.
The site adjacent to two schools may facilitate after school programs within a close walking distance. The site on Route 355 provides easy access and visibility. The new 33,000 square ft Recreation Department building will have a community room to rent.
Camp Seneca: Date built unknown
Factors considered by staff in recommending that we explore transferring the site to Montgomery County Recreation Department (MCRD):The building is the headquarters of Camp Seneca, a popular summer activity camp run by MCRD.The intent of this recommendation is to relocate the camp function next door in a more modern, updated building (Seneca Lodge). All activities would remain for the campers.
The current building has house a Park residence on top floor; hourly community use rental on main level; summer use by camp Seneca. Demolish building and work with MCRD to relocate Camp Seneca summer use functions to ground floor of nearby Seneca Lodge.
The Bureau of Animal Industry Building – One of twenty buildings identified in the “The Strategic Plan for Cultural Resources in Parks (December 2005).” that help tell the story of Montgomery County’s history. Before making a final decision as to the future of this building, more study is needed to rank the importance of this building in relation to other park historic resources.
Publication, From Artifact to Attraction (M-NCPPC, 2006) recommends “rehabilitate the building either for continued use as a community center or for a new use that also serves community needs.”Needs to be analyzed in terms of priority for renovation/restoration in relation to overall historic preservation program for park buildings.
The full report and listing of the 31 recreation buildings can be found in the June 28, 2007, Planning Board briefing memo (Item #12, B)
Last Updated: August 11, 2016