Photo courtesy, Parks and Recreation Department; Mayor Marion Bowser cuts the ribbon on the new building

The Palisades Recreation Center has reopened after a $9.5 million renovation.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser cut the ribbon on the rejuvenated facility at 5200 Sherier Place NW after taking part in the annual Palisades Fourth of July Parade.

“This time last year, we broke ground on the new Palisades Recreation Center—a community-driven project that was focused on building an inclusive and sustainable facility that will meet the needs of Washingtonians for generations to come,” Bowser said. “Today, we are proud to deliver a facility that brings to life the vision of the Palisades community.”

Before: the pre-renovation building in 2016 Photo: Brady Holt/The Current

The project added 6,000 square feet to the building, which was built in 1936. The renovations upgraded its energy efficiency to meet LEED Gold Certification standards and added safety features.

The rec center boasts new windows and doors, a new half-court gymnasium, gathering spaces for teens and seniors, a larger multipurpose room, a fitness room and expanded office space. Its restrooms were updated to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new facility also has an access point to connect a generator in an emergency.

After: the new Palisades Recreation Center Photo: Julie A. Miller/The Current

The center sparked intense community debate, with some park users advocating that the building be demolished and replaced, while others argued that it had important historic value. The Historic Preservation Review Board voted in 2016 to name it a landmark.