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Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Other Officials Open Rehabilitated Field and Playground Facilities at Watkins Elementary School

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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other District officials today cut the ribbon on new playground and athletic facilities at Watkins Elementary School on Capitol Hill. The new facilities will serve the school and neighborhood and are among the newest in the many recent renovation projects carried out by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in conjunction with the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM).

“I really want to commend DPR and OPEFM on a job well done,” Mayor Gray said. “My administration is fully committed to continuing this work throughout Ward 6 and the other parts of the District. It’s important our young people have safe and fun recreation options within their communities and throughout the city.”

The $1.6 million project features a number of state-of-the-art elements, including new playground equipment for elementary-aged children as well as a “Tot Lot” for toddlers and pre-K kids. Both have rubberized surfaces to prevent injuries to children who fall. The multi-purpose athletic field is adaptable to a number of different sports and includes artificial turf, new bleacher seating for 240 people, resurfaced basketball courts and “rush rink” (a court designed for competitive roller-skating sports, surrounded by “dasher boards” to minimize impact), new landscaping and lighting and increased accessibility.

The field will be home to the Watkins Hornets. The Pop Warner Youth Football team won the 2009 Pee Wee National Championship title and are the 2010 National Champion Runner Ups in their division.

For more information on the project, visit the DPR website at