‘Home stretch’

Spiezle Architectural Group to complete bid-ready design work for Hopewell Valley's new Senior and community Center

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Plans for Hopewell Valley’s new Senior and Community Center took two significant steps forward this week with actions by the Hopewell Township Committee and the Hopewell Valley YMCA.

At its Oct. 16 meeting, the Township Committee authorized a Professional Services Agreement with Spiezle Architectural Group to complete bid-ready final design work and construction oversight for the new Hopewell Valley Senior and Community Center. 

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The Center’s design reflects extensive community input from four core stakeholder groups over the past 24 months (seniors, recreation, the Hopewell Valley Regional School District and other community groups), and these monies will help advance the Center from the design phase to completion. 

“The new Hopewell Valley Senior and Community Center is going to be a valuable new asset for our community, and I am gratified to see us authorize these monies and enter the home stretch on this project,” said Committeeman Kevin Kuchinski, who is also liaison to the township’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

“I look forward to welcoming seniors and other community members to the new Center and to bringing our swimmers home.”

Earlier this month, the Hopewell Valley YMCA closed on the purchase of 14 acres of land that adjoins the Zaitz Tract off of Washington Crossing-Pennington Road near the Pennington Circle and will provide additional space for the envisioned design of the Senior and Community Center, as well as an important secondary access route. 

“I am very excited that critical pieces for the Senior and Community Center are finally coming together,” Hopewell Township Mayor Michael Ruger said. “It’s been a long road to get here, but this Center is going to last for decades, and we want to be sure to get it right.”

Hopewell Valley YMCA CEO Doug Pszczolkowski added that this has been a long time coming.

“We’re thankful for this opportunity to work with Hopewell Township towards a world-class community and recreation space for all of the residents of Hopewell Valley,” he said. “This day has been a long time coming and we’re excited to begin the next phase.”

YMCA Board President Ryan Kennedy spotlighted the township, volunteers, donors and partners.

“For years our YMCA has been studying and preparing for the community center that all of Hopewell Valley can be proud of,” he said. “I want to thank the township and all of our volunteers, donors and partners who have supported our mission and helped us get to this exciting point, particularly our Vice President Tom Finn, who was instrumental in our acquisition efforts.”

Earlier this year, Mercer County awarded a $48,000 grant to Hopewell Township in support of the project, part of an overall grant of $60,000 to the three municipalities. 

The funds, which came from the American Rescue Plan Act, will be used towards the construction of the new Senior and Community Center. 

On June 1, a ceremony was held with state Sen. Shirley Turner, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (all D-15) to announce a $2 million state grant for the Center, helping the Hopewell Valley community advance the project at a lower net cost to the community.

Once built, the center will provide expanded space for seniors, including a new, dedicated arts space, expanded room for exercise classes and increased meeting and classroom space. 

The Center will also host the county’s lunch program for seniors. 

Additionally, the Center will include a fitness facility, flexible indoor recreation space, including a walking/running track and court space, and two indoor pools – a competitive lap pool and a warm water therapy pool – as well as several community meeting spaces that can meet the needs of multiple organizations across the Hopewell Valley. 

Site preparation and preliminary road work will commence in the coming weeks, followed by full-on construction in the coming year.

As part of its redevelopment agreement with the township, Lennar will construct an access road to Reed Road, at their expense, and is responsible for bringing water, sanitary sewer infrastructure, natural gas and stormwater management basins to the site. 

The agreement represents a major contribution to the project and will save township residents several million dollars, according to a press release.

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