By Southwester Staff
The new Southwest Community Center will serve as a vibrant, central hub for the Southwest community and is intended to foster inclusive community participation and collaboration. ANC 6D negotiated a Community Benefits Agreement for the 6,000 square foot Community Center at the future site at 375 M St., SW. As part of the agreement, Brookfield Properties (formerly Forest City) will provide this space rent-free for 30 years and also provide funds for the build out.
The new Southwest Community Center has announced its founding Board of Directors. Joining the Board of Directors are Shannon Vaughn, Will Rich, Gail Fast, Evelyn Lugo, and Ambassador Mattie R. Sharpless. Director Vaughn has spent roughly the last decade supporting the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly through a number of roles, the most visible being 5 1/2 years as the editor-in-chief of ”The Southwester” newspaper. Director Rich is a 17-year resident of SW who currently serves as an advisor to the SWBID and is the founder of the neighborhood blog “Southwest…The Little Quadrant That Could.” Director Fast has been in SW for over 25 years, is the current Chair of ANC 6D and served on the Advisory Committee that developed the award-winning SW Small Area Plan. Director Lugo has been a resident of SW for 13 years and local real estate agent servicing our community. A SW resident for over 45 years, Director Sharpless actively participates in varied civic, political, and community programs and initiatives, including serving on the Wharf Development Advisory Group.
“All five of our founding Board Members have strong ties to Southwest, the Navy Yard, and Buzzard Point and a demonstrated commitment to the community. They bring energy and expertise to this new organization. We are fortunate to have them at the helm as we move forward in engaging the community on what they want to see in the Community Center,” said Andrea Gilliam, Interim Executive Director.
In March 2019, SWNA and ANC 6D hosted the first community engagement meeting. Additional community engagement is forthcoming.