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Promise Delivered: Scotland’s New Center

The Potomac Master Plan, approved and adopted in 2002, promised the Scotland community a needed expansion of its community center. Scotland is a historically African American community off Seven Locks Road in Potomac.

“The focal point of the Scotland community is a community center which is undersized and inadequate to handle the diverse social and recreational needs of the residents. The site is constricted and the available space in the center is approximately half that for a typical elementary school gymnasium,” according to the Master Plan.

On March, 27, county officials participated in a public groundbreaking ceremony for the new Scotland Neighborhood Recreation Center.

“We are excited about breaking ground for this replacement of the Scotland Neighborhood Recreation Center,” said Gabriel Albornoz, recreation department director. “Staff members in the departments of Recreation and General Services are working hard to build a first-rate facility that will provide the community with quality recreation programming.”

The old center will be completely removed and the new neighborhood center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, according to county documents. The new two-level structure will feature a new gymnasium, two multi-purpose activity rooms, game room, weight and exercise room and social hall.

The Scotland Community was settled in 1865, according to the Master Plan. Scotland AME Zion Church, a county historic landmark, was built in 1906.

“In the 1960s, the Scotland community was under intense development pressure. Developers wanted to demolish Scotland and construct high value homes,” according to the Master Plan. “Residents organized Save Our Scotland, which evolved into the Scotland Development Corporation (SDC).

“The SDC assembled the small, privately-owned parcels into a community corporation, obtained public water and sewer, and secured government funding for new townhouse construction.”

ALSO LAST WEEK, County Executive Isiah Leggett announced the winners of the 2013 Montgomery Serves Awards, to be presented on Monday, April 29 at Imagination Stage in Bethesda.

Members of the Bernie Scholarships Award Program nominated Joyce B. Siegel, a driving force in the movement to revitalize the Scotland neighborhood. Sigel worked for five decades to ensure affordable and decent housing for all Montgomery County residents.

— Ken Moore