WHEATON, MD – Standing before a large crowd on Monday, the Takoma Park Mayor and City Council presented a long awaited solution to the city’s multi-year struggle to upgrade its library and recreational center: a surprise new facility located in Wheaton, about 7 miles outside of the city limits.
Plans to improve the existing library on Philadelphia Avenue have been stuck in preliminary planning stages for years, ever since estimated renovation costs far outstripped the city’s budget. At the same time, the city’s recreational center has been in need of replacement due to its outdated space and general state of disrepair. Efforts to move both projects forward, however, have been on hold as residents have essentially held the city government hostage while endlessly debating the merits of replacing a parking lot with a two story building at the Takoma Junction.
Facing continued delays and complications, the City was at an impasse when a creative solution presented itself in the form of a new County-funded facility opening in Wheaton. “We couldn’t let this opportunity go by,” said the Mayor. “By canceling our projects and re-branding the Wheaton facility as the North Takoma Park Library and Recreation Center, we’re saving over 10 million in city dollars and checking off two big accomplishments for Takoma Park residents. And as a bonus, we didn’t have to deal with the Takoma Park city arborist in Wheaton. It’s a win-win-win.”
The Philadelphia Avenue library will be converted into overflow space for city council hearings while the existing recreation center on New Hampshire Avenue will be torn down and rebuilt as a second drive-thru Taco Bell.
Takoma Park residents had mixed reactions to the new facility. “So, wait, do I return my overdue copy of Michelle Obama’s autobiography to Wheaton?” asked a confused Michael Chang.
“I used to be able to bike to the Takoma Park rec center to work out,” stated Angela Jones. “Now my bike to the new North Takoma Park rec center IS my workout.”
County officials were similarly caught off guard. When asked about the city’s announcement, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro responded, “Wait, what?”
The North Takoma Park (Wheaton) Library and Recreation Center is located at 11701 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, and is open 7 days a week.