Contractor, Community Team Up To Transform Youth Football Fields

The D.C. Housing Authority opted for Job Order Contracting to solve storm water drainage challenges and get community sports fields ready for football season.

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Maintained by the Washington D.C. Housing Authority, Benning Terrace is a multi-family townhouse and apartment community that includes a recreational playing field, sports courts, and green space for community use. The site is large and flat, ideal for outside play. However, the outdoor area had poor drainage and was overwhelmed by storm water runoff on two sides and discharge from the downspouts of adjacent buildings. When there was rain, runoff would flood the community, and, because of poor drainage, water would pool on the playing field for several days. The other green spaces would remain saturated and marshy, leading to mosquito infestations in the warmer months.

storm water football fields job order contracting
(Source: Getty Images)

With Pop Warner football practices set to begin on the Benning Terrace fields in the fall and a volunteer day scheduled before the big grand opening, the D.C. Housing Authority needed a fast fix to their drainage problems.

Readying The Gridiron For Game Day

To get the fields ready free of standing water and ready for football, decision-makers at the D.C. Housing Authority opted for Job Order Contracting (JOC). JOC is a one-bid procurement method that awards contracts for an indefinite number of projects, saving the time and expense of bidding each project separately. Using JOC allowed the awarded contractor, The Matthews Group (TMG), to begin work shortly after a Joint Scope Meeting where all stakeholders, including Gordian, collaborated on how to complete the project.

To capture storm water runoff, TMG created a new storm water drainage system, including installation of underground pipes and three new bioretention ponds. TMG also added a major deep storm drain system to manage overflow from the ponds, several area drains, trench drains and the downspouts of the adjacent apartment buildings. Once the drain system was put in place, the contractor installed new asphalt trails in the recreational areas and concrete pads for picnic shelters, exercise equipment and a new patio. TMG also installed new stairs and handrails, sidewalks, fencing, playground equipment and landscaping. Using traditional procurement, these projects would have been bid separately. Not so with JOC—all the work happened under one competitively-awarded contract.

Neighbors Team Up For Victory

The community became personally involved during a planned volunteer event. The District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA) organized two Community Improvement Days during the course of the project. Community Improvement Days are part of DCBIA’s efforts to create a thriving sports, recreation and activity space for Benning Terrace residents. Approximately 500 DCBIA volunteers donated their time and materials to paint the asphalt paths and playing courts, install new banners and signage and build picnic pavilions.

Under a compressed schedule, TMG, with the help of the community, took a poorly draining, rundown space and created a new hub for sports and recreation in D.C.’s Ward 7. The partnership between the contractor, Gordian and the D.C. Housing Authority was of the utmost importance. The Joint Scope meeting allowed all involved to clarify unknowns and get on the same page, minimizing change orders. The project was completed successfully in time for football season and the Benning Terrace fields are the pride of the community.

Learn more about about how Job Order Contracting (JOC) helped the community work together to renovate this recreational space here.