North Bergen officials broke ground on a new community center and library complex, located at 1231 John F. Kennedy Blvd., earlier this afternoon, with the $13.5 million project expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œOur team is always working to improve our community and offer even better services to residents, and this project will be an incredibly exciting new addition to North Bergen,â€ Mayor Nick Sacco said in a statement.
â€œThis is sorely needed in the Downtown area and we believe that it will benefit residents for decades to come once it is completed.â€
NBCC&L will consist of five floors with two levels of garage parking, which will preserve street parking for neighboring residents.
The front section of the building will consist of two floors of Library space, which will replace the current North Bergen Public Library Kennedy Branch and allow for even more community programs and services with a computer lab, classrooms, study areas and multi-purpose community rooms.
â€œThis new facility will double the amount of library space available to Downtown North Bergen and allow our team to do even more to serve our community,â€ added North Bergen Public Library Director Sai Rao.
â€œEver since we founded the Kennedy Branch of our Library we have been able to greatly expand our reach into the Downtown area and this new building will increase that even more.â€
The rear section of the building will include a gymnasium and fitness center featuring an indoor basketball court with six hoops, fitness classrooms, an elevated jogging track above the gym and an outdoor exercise area.
Finally, the facility will be topped by a rooftop recreational field that will be used for soccer, football and other activities.
â€œNBCC&L will allow our Recreation Department to continue expanding and offering new and exciting programs to North Bergen children, keeping them active and engaged all year round,â€ said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Hugo Cabrera.
The $13.5 million cost of the project is expected to be defrayed by federal, state and county grants that the township will be applying for, and the township will bond for the remainder of the cost.
The board of commissioners approved bonding for the project back in January.