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July 15, 2010

Silver Spring Civic Center celebrates opening

by Marjorie Fuchs, Editor-in-Chief
On Thursday, July 8, the Silver Spring Civic Center opened to the public in an inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Civic Building, situated at One Veteran’s Place in the heart of Downtown Silver Spring, will be used for community activities and can be rented out for meetings, classes and private business.

The Silver Spring Civic Center, in the center of Downtown Silver Spring on Ellsworth Dr., opened to the public July 8th. Courtesy of Marie Meroney
The Silver Spring Civic Center, in the center of Downtown Silver Spring on Ellsworth Dr., opened to the public July 8th.
According to the Montgomery County Government and the Community Use of Public Facilities, the Civic Center will provide a community meeting space, a multi-media resource center and office space for the Silver Spring Regional Services Center staff.

The Civic Building lies on a spacious plaza fitted with a covered pavilion that is set to become a permanent ice rink later. Local organizations, such as the Washington Revels singing group, performed both in front of the building and in the pavilion for much of the afternoon on the Center’s opening day. After the performances, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen and other local politicians spoke to a sizable crowd. Leggett then presided over the ribbon cutting and officially opened the building for the public to tour. “This building is a tangible, public testament to this community’s long-standing desire for a gathering place,” Leggett said.

Rooms on the ground floor of the Center were transformed into art galleries, courtesy of Pyramid Atlantic Art Studio. Visitors observed the spacious lobby and Great Hall, which can accommodate up to 840 people, and saw the large multiple-use ballroom, interior courtyard and upstairs conference rooms. One upstairs room was transformed into a classroom. Meanwhile, local groups and businesses showcased their trades inside the building.

The new Silver Spring Civic Center was revealed July 7th. Harrison Reed
The new Silver Spring Civic Center was revealed July 7th.
Nearby businesses were optimistic about the Civic Center opening. Dion Riley, manager of the Fractured Prune on Bonifant Street, was excited about the Civic Center’s opening and hoped to prosper from it. “I hope we gain business from the Civic Center and all of its events,” Dion said. “It definitely makes the whole area more attractive.”

Assistant Manager Philip Lim of Adega Wine Cellars and Café on Fenton Street also looked forward to the exposure the Center will bring, but was wary of the haphazard skate park created in the soon-to-be ice rink. “The Center brings new people to Adega, which is good, but could possibly bring loiterers and could cause trouble with this skate park - someone’s bound to get hurt,” Lim said.

Locals such as Blair sophomore Riva Fairhall, of Takoma Park, have high hopes for the Civic Center and the surrounding Veteran’s Plaza. “This is either a hit or a miss in terms of hangout spots. It’s a natural place for kids to go and congregate, it’s the new Astroturf,” Fairhall said. Fairhall feels the site also holds much potential than the Astroturf. “Anything’s more interesting than the pit of dirt that’s been here,” she said. “This is the Astroturf but upgraded.”



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  • Leila (View Email) on July 15, 2010 at 10:07 PM
    Yeah Margie! Great article! I think the ice rinks going to be a great addition to DTSS.
  • turf turf turf (View Email) on July 18, 2010 at 11:55 AM
    The places to sit are too structured and there are too many obstacles for it to become the new turf. You can't fit ten, twenty people on one of those benches... and you can't have a football, soccer or frisbee game on concrete with all that stuff in the way.

    I'll be more excited when interesting things actually come to the building.
  • Joe on July 18, 2010 at 11:22 PM
    I like the new spot a lot...

    Something that would make it a lot better would be a basketball court. instead of the ice rink that space should be a court. bball can be played on concrete, its just as good as asphalt. and kids would really wanna play 24/7.....

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