The Corner Forum
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
Issue #61

Sherwood Rec Center: All of Us Should Go!

By Chester W. Hunter

1310 Emerald St. NE

Mr. Hunter visited Sherwood Recreation Center on Friday, Jan. 23. Eight days later, sitting in his living room, he described his visit to Sherwood, which is at 640 10th St. NE, to Marc Borbely, 536 13th St. NE.

When you enter the gate, they've got a walking or jogging path. I went inside, and a young man escorted me. Inside, you walk in, and they got a receptionist's desk in the hall. And it's for senior citizens and all the kids. It's a recreation center for anyone.

They got a full-court, inside basketball court, real nice.

Then he showed me upstairs — I didn't see all the rest of the building. They have a little conference room — actually, a little library (they've got books in there, where you can go in and be quiet, sit at a table and read. He was telling me that some senior citizens come in and stay all day!)

They've got a full kitchen, and it's nice, clean. He said they haven't started using it yet — some of the stuff they got, they haven't implemented yet.

They've got a room with all computers, where the kids or anyone will learn computers.

They even got a game room!

Then they have another room — a lopsided room. It looks like you could have a party or something. He said they don't have all the furnishings for that room.

They've got an elevator, so the senior citizens don't have to walk up the steps.

It's a beautiful place!

I remember, the old one was one little, small building, about the size of this room in here, maybe to back there. [Mr. Hunter points to the kitchen.] That's all they had in the old Sherwood.

I didn't know there was one before. In the same place?

Mmm hmm. But most of the ground that they have now, the school had. And they've got a parking area in the back, so people should have room to park. Real nice. Real clean. Immaculate. They used to be pulling trash, cleaning up — you know I was looking at everything. I'm nosy! [laughs].

They've got one room for games, on the floor — like shuffleboard.

They've got shrubbery all around. And they want to show it off! They want the neighbors to get involved!

He said right now a lot of kids come after school, and they have things for `em to do. They have a log book — a book that shows you all the activities they have. They have karate — oh, what impressed me, too, I forgot! — the gym they have there, they got a gym with all new machines. If you want to lose weight, go in that gym room!

You said there's a game room. What's in the game room?

As yet, they don't have too many games. He was telling me that the kids go in there and play some type of game, but he said mostly the games are not in yet. They've got a dancing class, karate class — it's in the log book — a foreign language class! I saw some senior citizens in the gym, working out yesterday. It wasn't that many — it's so cold, I guess. But they have a senior citizens' building in back of it, so they go in there.

When you saw the basketball court, was it all taken up — was it full?

No, because I was down there about 11 o'clock, and the kids was in school. And most of the old guys around here that play basketball probably don't know about it yet. They probably don't walk down on 10th Street. It's between 10th and F and 10th and G. They've got the whole block. The entrance is on 10th Street. But also, on G Street, he told me that they got some doors around there, and across the street I told you is the senior citizens' apartment building — he said sometimes they open the doors and let the seniors in, from the apartments.

And you said there's a party room? So if people have a birthday, can they go in there?

You know, I've got to ask him about that. It's a party room — it's a huge room, and he was telling me they go in there and talk sometime, but they don't have all the equipment for that yet. But when they complete everything, it's gonna be real nice. They have a lot of classes, they're gonna have down there, too — for everyone.

I said my God, remember the old Sherwood? One room, and outside they had a wood picnic table, and they had like a porch. They didn't have but one room, and it was crowded all the time — they guys around here didn't go.

Did they have a gym in the old one, too?

No, it was too small — they had little tables in there. In the summertime, they had a little holiday thing down there, that's all.

So the city finally put some money in it.

Yeah, but you know, all the stuff down there — the city has to plan 10 years in advance, so they was talking about Williams doing this. Williams is not doing that! It's already been planned! This money's been allocated! A lot of people don't know that. The city has a 10-year plan. They don't just jump up and say, well we'll build something here, build something there.

I wonder when they started planning that.

I don't know! I would like to find that out. I would like to find out who was the mayor when that was approved. Was it Pratt Dixon? Marion Barry?

So would you recommend to people to go check it out?

Mm hmm. All the neighbors should go. What is it? Couple of blocks from here! §