Gymnasium Proposed at Hollywood Elementary School

Formula 2040

A new, 12,000-square foot gymnasium at Hollywood Elementary School has been proposed by Maryland Park’s and Planning Formula 2040 proposal. The purpose of this would be to open the gym up to community activities in the evenings and on weekends, with programmed activities by Park and Planning.

This proposal to construct the gym seems to be Park and Planning’s proposal for establishing a community center in North College Park, and although it may not be as good as a full community center, could really increase the availability of recreational activities in our neighborhood.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has drafted Formula 2040, which sets forward a plan for recreational facilities in the County over the next 27 years. This plan is the project of a number of public meetings and planning sessions over the past three years, which included an assessment of the County’s recreational needs.

The College Park City Council will hear a presentation on Formula 2040 at tomorrow’s Council meeting.

You can download the plan yourself here.

Once it is adopted, Formula 2040 will become part of the County’s General Plan, which is the plan for development in the County and is considered when any new development for the County is proposed. The main goals of Formula 2040 are:

  • Connectivity, or ensuring that all Prince George’s County residents are have access to quality parks, trails, recreational facilities, and programs
  • Health and Wellness, ensuring that all facilities and programs have wellness components that contribute to the physical and mental health of residents and the environmental health of the community, and
  • Economic Development, to ensure that investment in parkland and facilities is used to stimulate private sector investment.

To accomplish these goals, Formula 2040 proposes a significant expansion in recreational facilities and also proposes reinvesting and re-purposing existing facilities based on the community’s needs. These will be paid for by cost recovery, including charging residents for services when appropriate and exploring other avenues for revenue generation, such as increased use of concessions, land leases, advertising, sponsorship and grants, with a goal of recovering 35% of parks and recreation system operating costs from revenues generated by 2022.

Formula 2040 sets ambitious goals of 35 acres of parkland in the County for every 1,000 persons (requiring an additional 292 acres per year over 30 years), 1.5 sq. ft. of indoor recreation center and .5 sq. ft. of outdoor aquatic space for each person, requiring an additional 500,000 square feet of regional, multi-generational indoor space, and an increase of park trail from approximately 134 to 400 miles of hard and soft surface trails to meet the standard of .4 miles per 1,000 residents.

The plan aims to reduce the percentage of the adult population that is obese by 10% over the next 10 years. Many existing facilities will be re-purposed to meet the needs and demand, and the traditional focus on niche community centers will be changed to focus on larger, multi-generational facilities where entire families can go and each member of the family can participate in recreational activities tailored to their needs.

Formula 2040 also proposes developing 1 or 2 signature recreational facilities for the County, where people from around the County will travel to visit. Capital improvements will be based on a cost-benefit analysis, and all projects proposed for the County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) will be based on a feasibility study examining costs and benefits, and all projects in the CIP will be reviewed annually to determine priorities for investment.

Formula 2040 also proposes developing an Adequate Public Facilities test for all developments that includes recreational facilities, to ensure that every new development in the County comes with sufficient recreational facilities to address the needs of the population added by the development.

Formula 2040 also proposes significant expansions to two community centers in our area – Prince George’s Plaza Community Center and Fairland Sports and Aquatic Center.

Representatives from M-NCPPC will be at the next NCPCA meeting on April 11 at 7:30 at Davis Hall. There will be a public hearing on Formula 2040 on Tuesday, April 9 at 7 pm at the Council Hearing Room at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro, and the County Clerk is taking written comments until April 24 via mail at the County Administration Building (the address is at the above website).

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