DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS: COMPREHENSIVE INVENTORY OF DEPARTMENTAL FACILITIES

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DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS:
COMPREHENSIVE INVENTORY OF DEPARTMENTAL FACILITIES

Problem Identification:
The Department currently has 45 recreation centers in various states of disrepair. Facility conditions range from adequate to grossly inadequate with little funding being expended for building and/or repairs. A comprehensive study of where facilities should be located in relation to other services and needs has never been performed.

Recommended Action:
Conduct a comprehensive inventory of all Departmental facilities.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Minimal. Coordination with the Family League, Safe and Sound, and Recreation and Parks staff should make initial assessment fairly easy. Some further costs could be incurred if engineering or environmental assessments are necessary.

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
90 Days

Next Steps:
Develop metrics to be used for evaluating center facilities. Some measurements could be size, layout, condition, barriers and ability to meet the needs of the community.

Analysis:
Site visits to Departmental facilities led the project team to conclude that very little thought has been given to the present location of facilities and whether they adequately meet current community needs. The physical condition of these facilities ranges from adequate to total disrepair. For example, the Department’s Roosevelt Park facility is in deplorable condition with the building’s electric power being too weak to even operate a ceramic kiln, a leaky roof and windows, and a prevalent rodent population that necessitated the disconnection of the building’s alarm system.

Consideration should be given to studying the new facility being constructed by Baltimore County in Arbutus. It is a collaborative effort between the County’s Department of Recreation and Parks, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Police Athletic League (PAL). The facility is being developed using community input on program needs and its design is intended to maximize both recreational opportunities and efficient staffing.

Data compiled by the Family League of Baltimore and Safe and Sound could be used to establish a baseline that identifies the city’s at-risk areas and the current continuum of programs and services being offered. Information regarding the adequacy of facilities must be utilized in making informed decisions about consolidating facilities and merging programmatic offerings. If centers cannot meet the needs of the communities they serve or are presently in a location where their full service impact is not being maximized, facilities should be consolidated or relocated. Moving forward, ongoing capital plans need to be developed based on the established metrics. Each facility should be regularly evaluated using a standard quality checklist.