HomeOld Bridge SunLaurence Harbor's new multipurpose community building garners federal support

Laurence Harbor’s new multipurpose community building garners federal support

The Laurence Harbor beachfront has garnered support from Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ).

Old Bridge will receive $2.25 million for the township to construct a new multipurpose building along the Laurence Harbor beachfront that will help the community expand recreational opportunities for residents.

The township has secured federal funds for a new multipurpose community building along the Laurence Harbor beachfront.

Mayor Owen Henry had said, “during difficult economic times, it’s important to recognize the need to increase and encourage recreational opportunities for working families.”

“This is the first step towards the revitalization of Old Bridge’s waterfront, which will not only spur economic growth but also create an engaging destination place within the township,” he said. “The township is currently working on designating the Laurence Harbor area as an area in need of redevelopment, which will drive reinvestment and redevelopment opportunities.”

The funds are part of the $51.37 million funds secured by Pallone for 15 projects in Middlesex and Monmouth counties in a federal spending bill for Fiscal Year 2023. The projects will help rebuild and repair infrastructure, support public health and educational facilities, invest in scientific research, and improve coastal resilience. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill soon.

“These projects are a major achievement for my Congressional district and will help rebuild critical infrastructure, promote public health, and bolster educational funding in Middlesex and Monmouth counties,” Pallone said. “These investments will also help create jobs with better pay, make us safer, strengthen our communities, and address the climate crisis. I’m proud that we were able to get these projects across the finish line and look forward to seeing President Biden sign the underlying legislation into law.”

The proposed plans include demolishing the existing building and building upon it with a two-story, 4,500 square-foot, building with a total floor area of 9,000 square feet, a 1,319 square-foot second floor terrace and ground level outdoor plaza and amphitheater-like seating.

The proposed building will receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification; provide for existing, plus additional, programming due to the larger space; become a revenue generating event space; and serve as an emergency shelter during extreme weather conditions and warming/cooling center in time of need.

Exterior men’s and women’s bathrooms are proposed for the beachgoers.

The current community center, which Township Engineer Nicole Shapiro described as “oddly shaped … almost like two octagons put together” was constructed in the late 1970s.

The current building is utilized quite often for summer camp, half-day programs, adult fitness, cooking classes as well as civic group and local sports meetings.

The building is also used as a staging area when there are events on the beach waterfront for emergency medical services, first aid, and police.

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