Project design underway for Secaucus’s new senior center

The old center was demolished while plans for the new one are being drawn up

Plans for the Secaucus’s new senior center at 101 Centre Avenue are currently being drawn up. Town Administrator Gary Jeffas told the Hudson Reporter that the new building design is being created by the project architect.

“It’s in architectural design,” Jeffas said. “So the architect is finalizing his plans.”

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The plans are obviously necessary before any construction can begin. Meanwhile, demolition of the old center and environmental remediation of the site is complete.

“The old center is demolished, so the lot is all clear,” Jeffas said. “We’re ready to go, but we have to wait for architectural plans so we can go out to bid for the project.”

Jeffas said the town is still a couple of months away from having architectural plans in its hands to take review and approve. Then it will be time for the town to find a contractor to build the new senior center.

“Once we have the architectural plans, then we’ll put together a bid package,” Jeffas said. “We’ll have to bid it out, award it, and then obviously the construction can start.”

The contaminated soil was removed so that construction can eventually begin.

The timeline is to have awarded the contract by the early summer, barring any delays.

“I don’t know if I’m too hopeful, but we’re hoping by early summer to be through that process and at least having her awarded the job,” Jeffas said. “If we get it done sooner, that would be great, but I would say we’re probably still probably at least six months away from getting through a bidding process.”

New $7.8 million senior center

In August of 2021, the Secaucus Town Council voted unanimously to adopt a bond ordinance to cover the cost of the new senior center totaling $7,818,670. While the bond will foot most of the over $7.8 million bill, the town has received a number of grants and is using other monies to supplement the project such as from town reserves.

The move came after the town realized that oil tanks underneath the old center had been leaking for a number of years. Environmental remediation work needed to be done at the three buildings that composed the old center.

It was cheaper to level the old center and start from scratch then remediate the existing structure.

Because some of the contamination leached under the foundation, Jeffas said it was cheaper to start from scratch then to remediate the existing center. The old center was demolished before contaminated soil that was formerly beneath the building was removed. Now plans are in the works for the new center.

While the new building will primarily serve as a senior center during the day time, for the rest of the day and evening the facility will serve as a community center for residents to hold events and meetings. When the new senior center opens, it will be larger and more accessible to the handicapped. Amid the ongoing construction, the community center on Front Street is functioning as a makeshift senior center.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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