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American University Park’s long-delayed $8M renovation to Friendship Park postponed again

When reopened, expect new basketball and tennis courts and a new recreation center

Friendship Recreation Center.
All renderings via D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation

American University Park’s Turtle Park, also formally known as Friendship Park, was supposed to reopen this June, but it looks like it’s been delayed once again. The park has been closed for over two years now, and Current Newspapers report that last-minute design changes are causing the project to delay until the first week of August.

The push back is due to community concerns about the planned playground’s flooring. According to Current Newspapers, locals preferred “bonded engineered wood fiber carpet”—wood chips that are attached together—over the “engineered wood fiber” material that is difficult to maintain in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The $8 million project plans to renovate the park’s outdoor areas and replace the outdated Turtle Park building with a state-of-the-art 4,500-square-foot recreation facility, called Friendship Recreation Center. The recreation center will feature a 125-person community room and a dedicated kids and crafts room. For the outdoor areas, there will be an updated tot lot, upper playground, new basketball and tennis courts, and a new splash pad.

The park is located in the American University Park neighborhood at the corner of 45th and Van Ness streets NW.

Turtle Park reopening delayed again after design change [Current Newspapers]