Plans call for old firehouse to be community center

BY MARK ROSMAN Staff Writer

AMY ROSEN Manalapan officials have identified this former firehouse on Route 33 as the site of a planned community center. Volunteers are being sought to help renovate the building. AMY ROSEN Manalapan officials have identified this former firehouse on Route 33 as the site of a planned community center. Volunteers are being sought to help renovate the building. MANALAPAN — Plans for the creation of a community center are moving forward.

After several years spent trying to get a plan for a community center off the ground, Manalapan officials are now looking to use a township-owned building as a location for community events.

Township Committeewoman Michelle Roth announced at the Feb. 11 Township Committee meeting that a building on Route 33 West near the Peking Pavilion restaurant is expected to be renovated and used as a community center.

The building is an old firehouse and is owned by Manalapan. The building was previously leased by the township to the state for $1 per year, according to Roth. That lease has ended and the township is making plans to revitalize the building, she said.

“I am confident this will be a great asset to our community,” Roth said.

She said a survey of the property has been commissioned and said planning is under way to use the former firehouse as a teen center, a community center and for activities such as police training seminars.

Roth is working with Arlene White, the chairwoman of the Manalapan Community Center Committee.

In a letter to the community, White said that “after many years of trying to raise money to construct a building to be used for our children and our families, the Manalapan Township Committee will be allowing us the use of an existing building to use as a community center.

“However, this building is in need of much renovation. To this end, the Manalapan Community Center Committee is looking for volunteers to help with these renovations. First and foremost, we are in need of a licensed plumber and a licensed electrician who would be willing to volunteer their time to help create a safe environment for the children. We also need someone to assist our general contractor (who is already volunteering time).

“Lastly, anyone who would be willing to volunteer some time in other areas such as demolition and construction, cleaning and painting would be welcomed and appreciated. Once the building is up and running, we will be looking for volunteers we can call on to supervise and chaperone events,” White wrote.

Anyone who is interested in helping in any way with the community center effort may contact Arlene White at 732-536-8727 or MCCCommittee@gmail.com.