Brick Township’s long-time goal of opening a dedicated Senior Center building is inching closer to fruition, officials said this week.
Mayor Lisa Crate said the Senior Center building, which will be located in a former volunteer EMS building on Aurora Place, off Cedar Bridge Avenue, is entering its final stages of construction and renovation before a grand opening can be announced.
“The transformation is amazing,” Crate said. “We are so excited to be able to house our seniors in a central location and have events for them there.”
Crate said based on the current pace of work, a ribbon-cutting ceremony should be scheduled by “mid-to-end of the summer or early fall” and programs can begin to be transitioned to the new facility. For years, the township has leased space in the VFW post building on Adamston Road to host senior activities, limiting the space and hours programs could be held.
The township re-acquired the building on Aurora Place after filing a lawsuit against the now-defunct Brick Volunteer EMS organization, which acquired the building for $1 from the township in the 1970s with the caveat that ownership would revert back to the municipal government if the squad ceased to exist or no longer needed the building. It had originally been sold to the Breton Woods fire company under the same policy. Brick Volunteer EMS was the final iteration of a combination of several volunteer squads that once served Brick residents, which was replaced gradually by a paid squad run under the auspices of the police department.
Brick was ultimately successful in its effort to take back possession of the building, which was quickly announced as the home of a new senior center with the capability of serving as a secondary base for Brick Police EMS employees. Renovation was expected to move quickly, however the township encountered a number of issues once engineers and Public Works crews got into the facility.
“There were a lot of issues and big things that needed to be taken care of,” said Crate. “Now, walls are up and bathrooms and being built. The outside has been updated, it looks really great and they have the sign up.”
“We came across an unexpected situation with the roof trusses that called for a need to consult with a structural engineer,” explained Business Administrator Joanne Bergin in 2021. “That set us back a bit, but is very necessary for the renovation.”
Those issues have since been rectified, and the township is using in-house crews to complete much of the renovation work.
“Take a cruise past – you’ll at least have a chance to see what it looks like from the outside,” said Crate. “It’s really starting to shape up, and I’m really excited about that.”