Congress Heights Recreation Center Gets Makeover
10/2/2012, 11:16 p.m.
Sixteen years ago, Michel Norton, 37, participated in his first DCBIA Community Improvement Day, ironically at the Congress Heights Recreation Center. Norton, whose company Norton Land Design, played a large role in this year's renovation project. Much has changed, he said, since 1996.
"The designs, contractors and whole game have been raised," said Norton, who lives in Ellicott City, Md. "It started out with us just planting and painting a building. Now, it's full-site design, providing an experience for the community with complete revitalization of a park. Every year it's grown - it's just an amazing event."
Lorenzo Simms, a basketball coach for the Academy of Maryland in Silver Spring, Md., showed up with six of his young players ages 12-14, to help out with the daylong project. While the members of his team live in White Oak, Md., Simms, 24, wanted them to learn the importance of community service.
"To come out, and to be able to help out another recreation center, is what I wanted my kids to volunteer to do. This is great," said Simms, who also lives in Silver Spring, Md. "There are African Americans, Asians and Caucasians who are all chipping in together. This is beautiful and a lovely thing to see and the kids love it. In two weeks, I want to bring them back here to see what they accomplished with their hard work."