Highlands Council Approves of Kinnelon’s Community Center

An+architectural+rendering+of+the+proposed+community%0Acenter.+Photo%3A+Alex+Merlucci.
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Highlands Council Approves of Kinnelon’s Community Center

An architectural rendering of the proposed community
center. Photo: Alex Merlucci.

An architectural rendering of the proposed community center. Photo: Alex Merlucci.

An architectural rendering of the proposed community center. Photo: Alex Merlucci.

An architectural rendering of the proposed community center. Photo: Alex Merlucci.

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A new community center has recently been approved by the New Jersey Highlands Council to be built off of Boonton Avenue. The proposal includes a sports field, a concession stand, and a rain garden.

 

The Highlands Council has the final say in any disturbances within the Highland Preservation Area where the Community Center is supposed to be built. With the Council’s approval, the borough can now close the $1 million purchase of the 10.6-acre property next to the Kinnelon Recreation Park baseball fields. Five acres of the land will be developed, with the remainder left for preservation.

 

The space is intended to be a center for community events and programs, as well as a storm shelter if another hurricane like Irene or Sandy hits Kinnelon again. According to the online presentation, the community center will include a basketball court, meeting rooms, patios, a community room, living room, and a kitchen.

 

“I think it’s a good idea; I’m just not very excited for the construction of it because… it’s going to be very disruptive for me since I live right across the street, but I think in the end it will be really valuable to the town,” senior Olivia Fiuza said about the community center.

 

On the other hand, Secretary of the Home and School Association (HSA) of Kinnelon, Amy Ferrera said, “I don’t think it’s really geared towards the whole entire community necessarily. I think the young kids would do better with some kind of a downtown where they could go and they could hang out as opposed to a community center.”

 

The borough has also recently purchased 62 acres of land off Denise Drive to be preserved as a wildlife habitat to mitigate the impacts of disturbing the land on the project site. This preserved land can benefit the water supply and wildlife, and the property contains habitat that supports state threatened and endangered species.

 

“I think the premise is good but I would like to know more about the money, and I think there are other things that need to be done before [this]… air conditioning in the school gym [being] one of them,” said Ferrera.

 

The community is now looking for six Kinnelon residents to join the construction committee and get started on building the Community Center. Those interested should submit applications to the borough clerk.

 

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