What the new Raymond Rec Center will look like (National Capital Planning Commission)

For about two years, residents have been refining plans for a new building to replace the tiny building behind Raymond Education Campus, on Spring Road NW in Ward 4.

Plans were essentially finalized a year ago, and with money in the budget for construction, residents have been getting restless. They got more restless last month, when officials told D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) that construction was on hold while the city parks and recreation department explored expanding the building and relocating its headquarters to the Raymond building.

“This was the first time we’d heard of this idea,” said David Tumblin, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who quickly penned a letter to Mayor Vincent C. Gray opposing any delay, citing continuing crime problems in the immediate vicinity.

Bowser said Tuesday that parks officials told her the Raymond headquarters idea is now off the table.

“We objected to a last-minute, unfunded whim of an idea,” she said. “This issue has already been delayed. This change would have caused an undetermined delay in the future. This community just cannot wait.”

In a hearing Tuesday, city officials said they were on the cusp of starting construction. John Stokes, a spokesman for the parks department, said today that a groundbreaking would proceed in a matter of weeks.