National Park Service Seeks Comment on Proposed Expansion of the Kennedy Center

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Date: October 9, 2014
Contact: Mike Litterst, 202-245-4676

Washington, D.C.–The National Park Service, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Preforming Arts (Kennedy Center) are accepting comments from the public on the environmental impacts of a proposal to expand the Kennedy Center. The proposed project would expand the facilities at the Kennedy Center by adding space for classrooms, rehearsal rooms, event spaces, and offices in a dedicated area. It would also provide greater pedestrian and bicycle access to and from the Kennedy Center, the National Mall, the Rock Creek Paved Recreation Trail, and the Potomac River waterfront. Comments are being accepted from October 9 through November 10, 2014.

A public meeting to discuss the plan and answer questions about the project will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2700 F Street, NW). The open house format meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 22, from 6:30 p.m. –8:30 p.m. and comment forms will be available.

Special accommodations and language assistance services (translation or interpretation) may be requested through Claudette Donlon (cdonlon@kennedy-center.org or by phone at 202-416-8000) at least four days in advance of the meeting. These services will be provided free of charge.

A copy of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Environmental Assessment (https://parkplanning.nps.gov/KennedyCenter) is available for public review at the following locations:

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566 

The National Capital Planning Commission
401 9th Street, NW North Lobby, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004 

Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Library
901 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 

Southwest Library
900 Wesley Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024 

West End Library (interim location)
2522 Virginia Avenue,NW
Washington, DC 20037 

How to Comment

The preferred manner for providing comments is via an online form through the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website, used by the agency to manage official correspondence and analyze public comment in the planning process.From the project website (https://parkplanning.nps.gov/KennedyCenter), navigate the menu on the left hand side of the page to Document List, then October 2014 Environmental Assessment, and Comment on Document.

Comments may also be submitted in writing to:

Ms. Claudette Donlon
Executive Vice President
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20566
ATTN: Kennedy Center Proposed Expansion

Comments must be entered into the website or postmarked by November 10, 2014 to receive consideration. Please be aware that the entire comment submitted –including personal identifying information such as address, phone number, e-mail address –may be made publicly available.Requests to withhold such personal identifying information from public release will be considered, but there is no guarantee that they will be withheld.

About the Project

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is proposing to expand its existing building, designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, to provide approximately 60,000 square feet of additional space. Components of the project partially fall within the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, which is under the jurisdiction of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, a unit of the National Park System.

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) is reviewing the project under its authorities specified in the National Capital Planning Act (40 USC § 8722 (b)(1) and (d)).In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the NPS and NCPC acting as co-lead federal agencies, have prepared the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion Project Environmental Assessment in cooperation with the Kennedy Center to examine the environmental impacts of the proposed Kennedy Center expansion project. Concurrently, the agencies have been conducting consultation in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The project is needed because the Kennedy Center, despite being the largest performing arts education institution in the country, has no dedicated classroom space, a limited number of rehearsal rooms, and no dedicated event space.Furthermore, there is no direct bike/pedestrian access to and from the Kennedy Center to the east, or southeastward to the Rock Creek Paved Recreation Trail, the National Mall and the Potomac River.This lack of a direct and convenient path limits visitor access between the Kennedy Center and these destinations, and also creates a disconnect between the Kennedy Center, which is the United States' living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, and the other presidential memorials found within the National Mall. 

-NPS-



Last updated: April 10, 2015

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