Work advancing to transform hospital parcel to county park

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MARLBORO – Municipal and state officials have offered an update on the Route 520 property that previously housed the Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital.

The parcel fronts on Route 520, which is a Monmouth County road, and is bordered by Conover Road to the east.

The 410-acre property housed the psychiatric hospital from 1931 until 1998, when it was shuttered by state officials who wanted to move patients out of institutional settings and into community settings.

The 100 or so buildings on the hospital property deteriorated over time. Officials have said individuals who entered the site illegally did so in an attempt to steal copper wiring and other materials from the decaying structures.

State officials eventually decided to demolish the buildings and to turn over the property to the county. The initial part of the demolition project began in 2013 and was completed in 2016.

This week, Marlboro’s township administrator, Jonathan Capp, and William Skaggs, a public information officer with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, spoke about the future of the site.

Capp said the state will install a sewer main on Conover Road between Imbrie Place and the Mattie House at 86 Conover Road with the goal of connecting to the Western Monmouth Utilities Authority sewer system.

Plans calls for the installation of a water main on Conover Road between Pleasant Valley Road and the New Hope and Discovery Institute at 80 Conover Road, he said.

Skaggs said all of the buildings on the sprawling hospital property, with the exception of a waste water treatment plant, a power house and a warehouse, have been demolished.

“The plan is to execute a management and use agreement for Monmouth County to ultimately use about 400 acres of the site for an open space passive park,” Skaggs said. “About 10 acres will be used for Department of Human Services group homes.

“The time frame for project completion has not yet been determined as water and waste line logistics are still being worked out. Afterward, it should take about nine months of utility installation and another six months to demo the remaining three buildings,” Skaggs said.