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Future of Old Naval Hospital Awarded to Hill Center PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Friday, 31 August 2007

Councilmember Tommy Wells today praised the Fenty administration’s decision to award the Hill Center group the rights to redevelop and renovate the Old Naval Hospital located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

“This handsome building has languished too long in decay,” said Councilmember Wells. He added, “I am so pleased that we will finally be able take advantage of this rich amenity for the enjoyment of the entire ward and remake the building into a vital asset for all the neighborhoods. The Hill Center vision will create a new “town center” for everyone to enjoy.”

The Hill Center plans to transform the Old Naval Hospital into a vibrant community center for lifelong learning and cultural enrichment. The Hill Center will partner with neighborhood organizations to offer wide ranging educational opportunities for all ages, including classes in languages, music, painting, writing, art, parenting, cooking and more.  Space will also be offered as lodging for community organizations and available for rent for local meetings, lectures, receptions and other neighborhood functions.

The Hill Center plan was created by the Old Naval Hospital Foundation -- a 501(c)(3) organization made up of long-time local residents from all walks of life -- who have been working for over five years soliciting ideas with established community organizations and resident input. To date the Old Naval Hospital Foundation has raised over two million dollars toward an endowment to help support the Center’s operations.

A public/private selection panel recommended the Hill Center plan for the Old Naval Hospital site and it was presented at a public meeting on July 19th. The ANC voted unanimously to support the Hill Center and asked the Office of Property Management (OPM) to delay a decision on awarding redevelopment rights while the Hill Center tried to negotiate the inclusion of the Community Action Group (CAG) into the group’s vision.

“My challenge to the Hill Center was to rewrite their plans to include CAG as a fully integrated member and find a way to keep that organization present in the carriage house,” stated Councilmember Wells. “The Hill Center went back to the drawing board and developed a new plan that kept CAG in the first and second floor of the carriage house, maintained the historic front entrance of their organization that so many people have relied on, and incorporated CAG fully into the plan and design. However, at the end of the day, CAG decided this wasn’t what they wanted and I have asked the city to work with the organization to help with relocation efforts.” 

Last Updated ( Friday, 31 August 2007 )
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