The town of Chevy Chase plans to issue $3.2 million in general obligation bonds this fall to finance construction of a regional recreation center on the grounds of the old Leland Junior High School.
Under terms of an agreement with the town, Montgomery County and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will finance the construction of the cneter and lease it to the county, Town Council member Jane Lawton said.
The commission will hold title to the property, she said.
Lawton said the town came up with the recreation center plan for the school site because "we wanted a use that would fit in with the residential area and provide our own citizens with amenities."
The town's plan to borrow money to pay for the center's construction follows a recent referendum in which Chevy Chase residents voted 178 to 4 in favor of issuing the bonds, Lawton said.
The 96,000-square-foot school building will be razed either this year or early next year, Lawton said. Construction of the 22,000-square-foot center is expected to start by 1987 and be completed a year later. The county currently has 26 recreation centers.
Town Council members have worked with county officials to find an appropriate use for the 3.6-acre site since 1981, when the school was closed because of declining enrollment.
Among the most recent proposals for the site was one that would have moved the private Immaculata School in Washington to Leland. But that plan was opposed by the town, County Executive Charles Gilchrist and several County Council members.
"The Town Council has always taken a stand that it would like to see the site put to public use," Lawton said. "Something that would provide amenities for the whole community."
The center will include a gymnasium, meeting rooms and daycare facilities, and also will offer programs for youths and the elderly. Tennis and volleyball courts also are planned. Town officials said they may use some of hte center's space for town offices.