New community center a top priority in Edison

EDISON — A new community center is in the works with “green light” positive thinking.

Mayor Thomas Lankey said his administration’s top priority in 2018 is to build a new state-of-the-art community center, during the 27th State of the Township Address that was sponsored by the Edison Chamber of Commerce at the Pines Manor on Feb. 22.

The proposed community center, he said, will be reflective of the needs and diversity of the community.

“Teamwork with the council and a partnership with the county will be essential to executing this very ambitious endeavor, which I know we will accomplish together to benefit the residents,” he said.

The township will hold its second of three public forums on the proposed community center to garner input on what type of activities the public would like to utilize at the center at 7 p.m. on March 22 at Town Hall.

Lankey said officials are looking for “green light” positive ideas for the center.

The mayor said he wants to make sure the process is done correctly, noting that it’s not every year or in the case of Edison, every century, a community center is built.

The township currently has two community centers, the Dorothy K. Drwal Stelton Community Center on Plainfield Avenue and the Minnie B. Veal Community Center on Grove Avenue.

Township officials have been looking for a new space for the Stelton Community Center, which had been a former school building. Parts of the building were built in the 1930s and then the 1950s.

As part of the proposed new community center process, the township recently purchased property at 48 Ethel Road, which will become the new home of the Edison Sheltered Workshop as of July 1. The workshop provides vocational rehabilitation services to people with disabilities who are residents of Middlesex County and at least 16 years old.

The township had been working with the Edison Sheltered Workshop to find a new home for the workshop, which utilized the Stelton Community Center.

Lankey said the Ethel Road building will also temporarily house other recreational programs in order for the township to maximize space during the construction of a new community center.

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@newspapermediagroup.com.