D.C. City Administrator Elijah B. Rogers announced yesterday that the city will close 10 youth recreation centers instead of 21 as was previously recommended.
The closings are part of a program of cutbacks to alleviate a projected $172.4 million city budget deficit. Closing the 10 centers will save $72,000, Rogers said.
William H. Ramsey, director of the D.C. Department of Recreation, had announced earlier this month that the administration planned to close 21 centers. Rogers said yesterday, however, that Rumsey's recommendations were not final, and that he and Major Marion Barry decided to close only 10. w
Closing the 21 centers would have saved $153,000, Rogers said. He said the difference between that figure and the $72,000 saved by the closings announced yesterday would be made up through unspecified budget cuts, not necessarily in the recreation department.
Asked whether the number of proposed closings were reduced because of public pressure, Rogers responded, "Obviously, the mayor is concerned. We like to be as responsive as we can to the needs of the citizens. We talk to a lot of people."
Rogers said the centers slated to be shut down were chosen by several criteria, including the level of usage and proximity to another center.
"It is not unreasonable to ask people to walk four or five blocks to another recreation center," Rogers said. "We feel that programmatically we can do that."
Rogers acknowledged that he has been interviewing candidates for a deputy director's slot in the recreation department which has remained unfilled for more than a year. He said no final decision has been made on whether to fill that position. The salary that post would carry could wipe out more than half the savings created by closing the centers.
"Having top-level employes to help Mr. Rumsey run the department could very well save more money in the long run," Rogers said.
The centers slated to be closed are: Ward 1 -- K.C. Lewis, 300 Bryant St., NW; Tubman Recreation Center, 13th and Kenyon Streets NW. Ward 2 -- Amidon Playground, Fourth and I Streets SW; Francis Recreation Center, 24th and N Streets NW. Ward 4 -- Keene Playground, Riggs and Rock Creek Church Roads NW. Ward 5 -- Brentwood Park Recreation Center, Sixth Street and Brentwood Parkway NE. Ward 6 -- Brent Recreation Center, Third and D streets SE; Tyler Recreation Center, 10th and G Street SE. Ward 7 -- Nalle Playground, 50th and C Streets SE; Sousa Recreation Center, 37th Street and Ely Place SE.