Residents of the Ivy City community gathered Saturday to celebrate the opening of the Ivy City Club House, a new community-run space led by members of the Friends of Crummell School.
The clubhouse will serve as a site for free meals, academic support and enrichment activities in a community left unserved by city agencies, said Empower DC, a nonprofit advocating for the city’s low-income residents and communities.
The two-acre facility, located just down the block from the historic Alexander Crummell School, had been vacant for 40 years and cordoned off with a fence to keep the community out.
“We’ve worked alongside Ivy City residents for nearly 20 years, advocating for a community center at the long-abandoned historic Alexander Crummell School,” Empower DC Director Parisa Norouzi said in a statement. “We’ve seen the detrimental impact that the lack of services has had on youth and adults. Ivy City youth simply cannot wait any longer for their needs to be met.”
Residents who had been advocating for full restoration of the site as a community center, park and play space have come up against Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plans to turn the site over to a team of politically connected developers, according to the press release.
The D.C. Council recently approved $1 million for recreation services in the community.