Just six months ago, the walls inside the 29th Street Community Center were still wet with bright shades of blue, green, red, and yellow paint. After months of cleaning, hauling trash, replacing broken fixtures and the like, these freshly painted walls were among the finishing touches – done by GHCC staff and volunteers – before this long underutilized building re-opened to the public in June.
Nowadays, the Center is buzzing with activity. Since the summer, well over 500 residents from Charles Village, Abell, Harwood, Better Waverly, Waverly, Roland Park, Barclay, and Remington have enrolled in yoga, martial arts, dance, basketball, robotics, art and music classes (to name just a few). Most programs are free, while others cost very little.
Last night, more than 150 of these program participants and their families, neighbors, and elected officials gathered together for a potluck dinner and special showcase to celebrate the culmination of fall programming. The showcase included dance performances, poetry, a photo booth, and crafts. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, a “Wall of Thanks” was covered in thank you notes handwritten by attendees.
One Harwood resident who is a mother to several program participants wrote, “This place is amazing now! Nothing like this ever happened before and I’m so glad [GHCC] reopened it!”
A seventh grader from the Barclay School wrote, “I am thankful for the 29th Street Community Center because I can play basketball, get help with homework, and hang out with my friends.”
“I’ve learned perseverance through the Robotics Club,” wrote a member of CV Creates. “If you have to take a wheel apart eight times in order to get it to work, it’s worth it.”
Back when the Center made its inaugural debut, there was a contagious excitement throughout the community, and it doesn’t seem to have lost any steam. “This potluck was a perfect way to celebrate the Center’s six-month anniversary of re-opening. All the energy and enthusiasm tonight indicates only greater things to come,” said Center Director Hannah Gardi.
Winter programming will begin on January 13, 2014. Stay tuned for updates and an official program schedule by following the 29th Street Community Center on Facebook.