Meeting on July 1 to review Hightstown Borough Hall renovations

The Hightstown Borough Council will hold a special meeting on the planned renovations to the new Hightstown Borough Hall on July 1.

the meeting will start at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Hightstown Firehouse social hall at 140 N. Main St.

The purpose of the meeting is to present an update on the planned renovations for the new municipal complex, which will have room for municipal offices and the Hightstown Police Department at the former YMCA building at 230 Mercer St.

The Hightstown Borough Council approved a $500,000 bond ordinance to pay for the architectural and design fees in connection with the new municipal complex. The Musial Group architectural firm has been hired to serve as the architect and contract administrator.

The town purchased the building from the YMCA of Western Monmouth County. The building, which had been built as a school around 1880, had most recently been used by the YMCA as a childcare center.

Hightstown Borough municipal government has been without a permanent home since Hurricane Irene flooded the town in 2011.

Since the former Borough Hall was flooded out, municipal offices have been spread out in town. Some of the offices were relocated to the Department of Public Works facility at 156 Bank St., forcing the DPW workers into a trailer for office space.

The Hightstown Police Department has rented space at 415A Mercer St., and the Hightstown Borough Municipal Court has been relocated to Robbinsville Township in a shared services agreement.

Over the past few years, Hightstown Borough officials considered several other locations for a permanent home for the municipal offices before finally agreeing to buy the Mercer Street building. The YMCA approached the town about purchasing the building.

A previous consultant drew up conceptual plans for the layout of the municipal offices at the former YMCA building in 2018 as part of a feasibility study while the town was considering whether to buy it.

The former YMCA building has nearly 8,000 square feet on the first and second floors. The consultant suggested constructing a two-story addition at the rear of the building to provide another entrance and exit, and for handicapped accessible men’s and women’s bathrooms.

It was also suggested at that time that the Hightstown Police Department could be located in a separate building on the property.

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