Bloomfield/Montclair, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that the restroom building and the tennis court building in Essex County Brookdale Park are being modernized on Tuesday, April 24th. The upgrades are part of the County Executive's ongoing initiative to update parks infrastructure to ensure they meet the needs of the community.
"We are pleased to be partnering with the Brookdale Park Conservancy, who requested the facilities be upgraded," DiVincenzo said. "Providing adequate facilities makes our parks more user-friendly and allows the public to enjoy the open space for longer period of times and feel comfortable coming here," he added.
"On behalf of Bloomfield, I would like to thank the County Executive for everything he has done in the park. Every season, the parks get better and better," said Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia who was accompanied by Bloomfield Councilman Nick Joanow.
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"This is another example of teamwork between the County, municipalities and residents coming together to make something special happen. The improvements championed by the County Executive carry on the vision of Olmstead of making open spaces available to the public," said Montclair Mayor and County Administrator Robert Jackson, who was accompanied by Montclair Councilor Bob Russo.
"This year marks the Conservancy's 10th anniversary. During that time, we have witnessed the dedication and support that Essex County has provided to Brookdale Park. Partnering with the County on projects such as these showcases the value that a non-profit organization has to the community," said Brookdale Park Conservancy President Mollie Smith.
The comfort station is centrally located in Brookdale Park and is adjacent to the Tom Fleming Athletic Complex, the playground and meadow where soccer activities are held. The tennis court building is part of the 11-court tennis complex near the Grove Street entrance to the park. Both buildings will be completely renovated with new ceilings, wall and floor tiles, restroom fixtures, lighting, HVAC units and landscaping.
USA Architects from Newark were awarded a $168,500 contract to design the upgrades to the restroom building and the tennis courts building. Their contract also included designing improvements to the Wally Choice Community Center in Essex County Glenfield Park. ZN Construction LLC from Saddle Brook was awarded a publicly-bid contract for $930,000 to perform the construction work. The Department of Public Works is monitoring the project to ensure delays are avoided. The project is being funded with grants from the NJ Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund, and through the Essex County Capital Budget. It is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018.
Revitalizing Essex County Brookdale Park
DiVincenzo's administration has completed several improvement projects in Brookdale Park as part of a comprehensive initiative to revitalize the Essex County Park System.
The synthetic grass field and rubberized running track in the Oval were completed in May 2004 and was updated with new grass and rubberized surfaces in 2014. In 2006, the meadow underwent an extensive $1.15 million renovation that included the installation of new drainage and irrigation systems, the planting of sod on the entire meadow surface and the modernization of the baseball/softball field in the northern section of the meadow. The development of the Brookdale Dog Park and the reconstruction of the 11-court tennis facility were completed in November 2007. In 2009, the Circuit Drive, the parking lots and the walking paths throughout the park were repaved. In 2014, a three-phase project to install 148 light poles at the park entranceways and around the walking paths and an 18-station fitness course were completed. In 2015, the playground was updated with new climbing apparatus and a rubberized safety surface. These projects were funded with grants from the NJ Green Acres program and the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund. DiVincenzo has established partnerships with the Montclair United Soccer and the Brookdale Park Conservancy to obtain the grant funding.
The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 23 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.At 121.41 acres, Brookdale Park is the third largest park in the Essex County System. Land for the park was purchased between 1928 and 1931.