New $10 Million Cherry Blossom Welcome Center Coming to Branch Brook Park

“The larger building will help us expand our year-round programming in the park and will provide the public with an up-to-date facility to gather and hold events," DiVincenzo said. "It will be another way residents will be able to enjoy our historic parks system."

The new building will be a one-floor, 11,000-square foot, handicap accessible building. The centerpiece of the building will be a large community room with a capacity to seat about 250 people.

“Branch Brook Park was an extraordinary place growing up. And it’s great to witness that the people who come to the park today appreciate the improvements and regard the park as their own backyard,” Senate Majority Leader and Deputy Chief of Staff Teresa Ruiz said.

There also will be a kitchen, restrooms that are accessible from inside and outside of the building, and storage rooms. A lobby area will be equipped with gallery and display cases, the imitation cherry blossom tree from the original building will be relocated to the lobby and the walls of the lobby will be decorated with a themed cherry blossom mural.

“Joe has a vision for the parks and doing projects like this creates more opportunities and attracts more people to the park,” Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said.

The front of the building will have a covered entry way and driveway that will make accessing the building easy. A patio will be located behind the building. The flagpole will be relocated to enhance access to the building.

“This new space will be valuable to the community. I commend Joe D. for all the things he has done and for his vision for the park,” Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos said.

The two bocce courts will be repositioned on the right side of the building. A variety of site improvements also will be made, including enhanced landscaping, planting new trees, installation of benches and trash receptacles, and water fountains.

“All the things Joe has done to improve Branch Brook Park has benefited the community and helped raise property values in the neighborhood,” Newark At-large Councilman Luis Quintana said.

During the demolition of the existing building and construction, the parking lot and playground adjacent to the building will be closed to the public from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

“Branch Brook Park is the reason I am in Newark. I thank Joe DiVincenzo for making this park come to life,” Elizabeth Del Tufo, Newark historian, said.

DiCara Rubino Architects from Wayne were awarded a professional services contract for $562,500 to design the demolition plan of the existing building and design the new building.

Caravalla Demolition from East Hanover was awarded a publicly bid contract for $270,734 to perform the demolition work.

Tsivicos Enterprises from Neptune City was awarded a publicly bid contract for $9,890,000 to construct the new building.

The Essex County Department of Public Works will monitor the project to ensure delays are avoided.

The building is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2023.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-10-15 02:51:19 -0700