Township will be getting
not one, but two new community centers according to plans unveiled at the Township
Council meeting Tuesday night.
Designs for a 5000 square foot building on Bay Avenue and a 1600 square foot facility in Mill Creek Park were outlined by Township Architect Vincent Sibona and Township Engineer John Hess at the council meeting.
The total estimated cost for the construction of both facilities is $2.3M, with some if not all of it being covered by the township’s anticipated settlements with their insurance company and FEMA, said Administrator James Moran. In addition, actor Alec Baldwin donated $250,000 to the project shortly after Superstorm Sandy last year, said Moran.
The next step will be to pass a bonding ordinance giving the township the funds to start the bidding process, Moran added.
“I am hoping we will see some better numbers on the overall cost once we go out to bid some time in April,” he said.
Both buildings will be made with pre-built steel construction that will then be given exterior “facelifts,” said Sibona
The first new building will be a 5000 square foot, multi-purpose building located at the site of the old town hall at 775 East Bay Ave., said the architect.
The second is to be constructed in Mill Creek Park, the site of the old community
center destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, will be a 1600 square foot building with
a open air pavilion, he added.
The East Bay building will feature a large meeting room that can accommodate 300 people and could be partitioned off to host multiple events. It also will have a full kitchen, accessible rest rooms, meeting rooms, office space and storage areas for the various community groups who will be using the building, he added.
The design also took into consideration the possible need to use the space for emergency services, a disaster distribution center and as an evacuation shelter should that become necessary, said Sibona.
The current building will remain in operation and the new center will constructed behind it in what is now the parking lot. Once completed the old building will be demolished, said Sibona.
The pavilion in Mill Creek Park will feature meeting space, a kitchenette, storage and an attached open air pavilion covered by a column supported roof.
Hess said this building will be built to the required flood
elevation and have access ramps as required.
The township will have soil borings done to determine the proper type of foundation to support the structure, he added. In addition, the ground will be built up on the building site and then tapered down around the sides, said Hess.
Mayor John Spodofora said having both facilities is the best way to serve the needs of the entire community. “The Bay Avenue facility is more centrally located and hopefully will attract more people to our downtown business district,” he said.
The township is applying for a state Downtown Development grant to also help offset the cost, said Spodofora. Councilman Henry Mancini is looking into and applying for additional grants, he added.
The Mill Creek building’s pavilion will offer a place for people to enjoy the park and also provide public bathrooms for those using the bocce, tennis and basketball courts something the park never had before, he added.
In a response to a question from the audience, Sibona and
Hess said the facilities are looking to be as “green” and energy efficient as
The township will receive funds for the state Board of Public Utilities for a ground source water heating system, will have LED lighting throughout and should the funds become available both building could be fitted with solar panels, according the them.
Later in the meeting Sibona’s company was awarded by
resolution the contract to provide architectural services for the building projects
If all goes well, Moran said both building could be operational by the end of this year. “The good news is they will be ready for the summer of 2015.”