SUMMIT, NJ - A Report of Findings & Recommendations for the proposed renovation of the Summit Community Center (SCC) will be presented at the Summit Common Council meeting November 18. David Rosen of The Rosen Group, architecture firm, and Judith Leblein Josephs, Director of the Department of Community Programs (DCP), will present the finding of the study, which began in early 2011. The presentation is offered for informational purposes, and as a request for direction on the next step of this proposed plan.
The SCC has served Summit since 1954, offering programs for seniors, youth, teens, children with special needs, and families. Seasonally, between 900 - 1,500 residents use the Community Center in some way each week, with more than 4,500 residents enrolled in one or more programs, not including group and organization use of the facility. Space constraints have limited the creation of additional programming and further opportunities for community usage.
Over the years, there have been several renovations to the facility. The earliest renovation was in 1962, and the latest in 2001. There are structural, energy, HVAC, parking and accessibility concerns relative to the building, and there is a stated need to create additional spaces for a dedicated Senior Lounge, a similar Youth Lounge, storage and parking improvements. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy emphasized the need for the Community Center to serve as a shelter and be equipped for that task. It currently would not meet sheltering standards.
In 2008, the Capital Budget was approved with an allocation for $75,000 to fund the necessary studies to improve the Community Center. A Request For Proposal for Architectural Services to study the Community Center was sent to a variety of architectural firms in the fall of 2010. A Screening Committee of members of the DCP Staff, DCP Advisory Board, and DCS Engineering, reviewed the proposals and presentations. The Rosen Group of Summit was selected as the finalist, based on experience, understanding of the public process, and the cost of the study.
Since 2011, public meetings, focus groups with stakeholders, and other workshops were held in the community. The end result is a comprehensive look at nine design scenarios created through public input, with five remaining selected by the public as potential answers to Summit's recreational space needs. Cost estimates for these five scenarios range from a low of $2.54 million, to a high of $5.61 million. The more expensive scenarios call for improvements to the current gym, other programming, senior, youth and special needs programming spaces, parking and infrastructure improvements, and a new additional full-size gym.
The meeting, open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. Information outlining the current issues with the Summit Community Center, and the input received through the public meetings, is offered for public review and is posted on the City website at www.cityofsummit.org via the Department of Community Landing Page.