DC council member introduces bill to expand weekend rec center hours

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen has introduced a bill aiming to expand weekend hours for the District’s recreation and community centers.

According to a press release, the majority of D.C.’s recreation and community centers are currently either closed on weekends or operating with very limited hours on Saturday mornings. Allen said the lackluster hours deny an important space for District residents, especially young people.

“Much like our libraries, our rec centers can be places where everyone can feel welcome. But, right now, we’re missing important windows when those places are not available – especially to young people,” Councilmember Allen said in the release Friday. “We need to keep the doors open on the weekend and make sure our programming reflects the needs of our residents.”

Allen’s bill was co-introduced by nine other council members and would require D.C.’s rec centers to remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, at minimum.

These hours mirror the standard operational hours for most D.C. public library locations and place no limitation on hours at centers — successful Friday night events can continue to take place in the region.

“I talk with young people all the time that tell me they need their rec centers open to create a safe and active space in the community. Let’s put these spaces to work for our city and our young people every day of the week,” Allen said.

WTOP’s Ivy Lyons contributed to this report.

Dana Sukontarak

Dana Sukontarak is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. She loves haiku poetry, short sci-fi stories and word games. She grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and currently lives in Silver Spring.

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