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New Sea Isle Community Center Could Break Ground Soon

New Sea Isle Community Center Could Break Ground Soon


February 23rd 2024

The City Council is set to vote on February 27th regarding a $21 million contract for a new community center spanning from Park Road to Central Avenue at 45th Street.

Mayor Len Desiderio notified the council of the impending vote, highlighting that Ernest Block and Sons of Philadelphia presented the lowest responsible bid when proposals were unveiled in December.

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The concept of a community center has been in deliberation for years, with plans encompassing features such as an indoor walking and jogging path, basketball and pickleball courts, as well as meeting spaces. The center is slated to be constructed on the grounds of a former city school, dormant for over a decade. Following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the school served as a temporary police headquarters until a new combined facility was erected on Kennedy Boulevard.

In a session on Tuesday, the council passed an ordinance reallocating $2.17 million from previous bonds to the community center initiative. Mayor Desiderio noted this reallocation will provide the necessary finances to award the construction contract for the new center, with construction likely to commence upon receipt of a notice to proceed, potentially in March.

Desiderio expressed pride in the collaborative effort behind the community center project, emphasizing the extensive planning, design, reviews, and public engagement it entailed. Council President J.B. Feeley remarked on the community's enthusiasm for the project, which is anticipated to take around 18 months to complete once construction begins.

Furthermore, the council approved contracts with DeBlasio and Associates for construction management and with project architect Henry Hengchua for architectural and engineering services essential for the facility's construction.

Additionally, an $11.59 million bond ordinance for city improvements was passed during the meeting. These funds will finance various projects outlined in the city's capital plan, including beach patrol, police, fire, and public works equipment, road maintenance, flood mitigation efforts, and upgrades to public facilities such as bathrooms and the emergency medical services building.

Mayor Desiderio also provided an update on beach replenishment efforts, with Sea Isle slated to receive additional sand as part of a broader project that also covers Ocean City and the Strathmere section of Upper Township. While dredging is complete in those areas, work continues in Strathmere to prepare beaches for the upcoming summer season. Mobilization for the Sea Isle portion is expected to begin in March, with sand pumping commencing by the month's end and the project targeted for completion by Memorial Day weekend.

Furthermore, Desiderio outlined plans for replenishment in the downtown area, spanning approximately from 29th Street to 52nd Street, and in the south end, from 74th Street to 94th Street.

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