ROSELLE, NJ - Residents and community leaders came out on Thursday afternoon for the long awaited ground breaking ceremony for the “Mind and Body Complex” at the development site, at Chandler and Harrison avenues in Roselle.
Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley led the groundbreaking joined by Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, Union County Freeholders Chairman Bruce H. Bergen, Vice Chairman Sergio Granados, Alexander Mirabella, Vernell Wright, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano.
Representatives from the Union County Improvement Authority, AST Developers, the Borough of Roselle Council, Roselle Board of Education and others joined in by putting the first shovels into the ground to announce the start of the long awaited project that has undergone nearly five years of careful planning and community vetting, and has been lauded for its cross-agency planning and financing.
The $56 million complex located between Harrison and Chandler Avenues will be a multi-use facility featuring a 21st century public library, pre-K Kindergarten Success Academy school, recreation center, recording studio, and more. It will include public amenities that are long due for improvement or replacement. For example, Roselle Public Schools currently rent space for the Roselle Preschool and the Kindergarten Success Academy. The new facility will become a permanent home with 22 classrooms and a secured outdoor playground.
“Improving the quality of life has always been a major priority in Roselle,” said Roselle Council President Kim Shaw, who also serves at the borough’s 4th Ward Councilwoman. “The Mind and Body concept has been a centerpiece of that priority and now our residents can finally see all the hard work and vision come to fruition.”
“The Mind and Body Complex is a game-changing development for the Borough of Roselle that will provide lasting benefits to the community as a whole,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “We are proud to be supporting a project that will promote the renewal of the borough as a whole.”
Other features of Mind and Body include a new home for a community center, fitness center, pool, and media and technology rooms, an upgrade of the borough’s Arminio recreational field, and the addition of 182 public parking spaces. The complex will also contain a canopy-covered and landscaped concourse.
“Mind and Body was born out of a philosophy that all individuals have an opportunity to be intellectually curious and physically active in an environment that fosters deep civic ties,” said Assemblyman Holley.
“Achieving that goal requires more than one set of decision makers. This project represents a real triumph in cross-agency collaboration and something that our residents demanded and deserve.”
Councilwoman Carla Walker, who represents the borough’s 2nd Ward where the Mind and Body Complex will reside, emphasized the improvement of the physical space in the neighborhood, as well as provide many new and improved services.
“Soon we will have tremendous public amenities in a location that has been blighted for far too long,” she said. “This project will provide an improvement on our residents’ quality of life that far exceeds simply the services that are provided. This is about bringing new life to our town for the next generation.”
Highlights from the event can be viewed below.