Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Letter: Gates' Community Center Has Space

To the editor:

We were surprised and disappointed to read in last week’s blog that some members of the Buckingham community still have concerns about the space for Arlington County’s Community Outreach Program in the new Gates of Ballston Community Center. AHC Inc., the owner and manager of the Gates of Ballston, collaborated with senior County staff and community volunteers to design spaces and programs that will meet the needs of the Buckingham community. The result is a beautiful, functional community center with approximately 1,600 square feet of space for the Community Outreach Program, 1,500 square feet of space for AHC’s Resident Services program, and another 2,200 square feet of space that can be reserved by residents, the Community Outreach Program, or AHC for special programs.

The Community Outreach space includes two classrooms, a computer classroom, an office, and a meeting room. The remaining space in the new building includes the leasing and property management offices, four handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and an office for the Buckingham and Gates Tenant Association (BUGATA).

AHC has always supported the work of the Community Outreach Program and we have worked hard to accommodate their needs since we bought The Gates in 2002. The two apartments currently occupied by Community Outreach were always intended as temporary space while the Gates underwent an extensive renovation and the new community center was built. AHC will return these apartments to their original purpose – rental housing – once the Community Outreach Program moves to the new community center.

We are very excited about the new Gates Community Center and look forward to celebrating its opening with the Buckingham community later this summer. We truly believe the new center is going to be a great asset to the community.

Sincerely,

Catherine Bucknam
Director of Community Relations
AHC Inc.

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