TSG To Build New Community Center at Watsessing Park
March 27, 2019
The Shauger Group (TSG) is kicking off 2019 working on a new project that will benefit the local community: the construction of a brand-new modernized community center at Essex County’s Watsessing Park in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The project includes building a state-of-the-art community center from the ground up, along with a new adjacent parking lot. TSG’s improvements to Watsessing Park, a 69-acre park located across East Orange and Bloomfield, are slated to be finished later in 2019.
The Watsessing Park improvement project reflects a continued effort by the County of Essex to improve area parks. The new community center, as well as the new parking area, will have better access and availability than the existing parking lot and senior center at the original site. With both the senior center and playground in need of upgrades, the County of Essex advertised a public bid in November 2018 to construct a new community center and parking lot, along with other enhancements. Bids were opened publicly, with TSG being the apparent lowest bidder. TSG was officially awarded the contract, followed by a notice to proceed in December 2018. Demolition has since been completed, site and utility work is in progress, and construction on the building foundation is ongoing.
“We’re excited to be part of yet another project that will improve the lives of people in the local community,” said Lisa Shauger, president/CEO of TSG. “The upgrades at Watsessing Park will fill a need in the community for a more modern facility and accessible parking situation to be available. The community center is an important part of the everyday lives of so many people, especially senior citizens, and we’re glad to play a role in bringing those improvements to them.”
“As an Essex County contractor, we always take great pride in putting our workforce—much of which is comprised of Essex County residents—to work on a project that will benefit Essex County and its citizens,” said Donald Shauger, executive vice president of TSG. “It has been our honor to work on similarly meaningful publicly bid projects for the County in the past, and we are grateful to have won another bid that will allow us to once again make a difference in Essex County.”
Construction of the new state-of-the-art community center will include new utilities, curbing, sidewalks, asphalt driveways, ADA-compliant curb ramps, irrigation, and landscape enhancements.
The new one-story community center will consist of a “party” room for community gatherings, a warming kitchen, a storage and utility room, and modernized restroom facilities. The ADA-compliant restrooms will be sizeable, to be used both by parkgoers and by those just frequenting the community center itself. The new building will be located south of Congers Street and west of Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield.
With the goal of further improving the lives of Essex County residents, the Watsessing Park upgrades will offer modernized facilities that will meet the community’s needs. For senior citizens, the new community center will improve their quality of life and offer many great programs, such as the continuation of the popular senior lunch program. With the planned exterior updates to the park and walkways, Essex County Freeholder President Brendan Gill sees the project as a critical way to improve the “walkability” of the area and to be the “linchpin to what you want to experience in the downtown area.” From an accessibility standpoint, the new parking lot will make transportation and access to the new-and-improved park facilities more convenient and manageable.
“Thank you to the wonderful contractors who are doing such a great job,” Essex County Freeholder Patricia Sebold said at the January 18 press conference announcing plans for the Watsessing Park improvements. “They’ve done a great job in the past for Essex County, and I know this will be terrific.”
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo both praised TSG during the January 18 press conference as well, with DiVincenzo noting that TSG does “a great job” and Caputo affirming that TSG has had a history of “wonderful work in the County.”
TSG will take care to minimize interruptions to day-to-day park operations so that the park can remain open to the public.