Renovations seen at West Orange Community Center

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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WEST ORANGE — It is out with the old and in with the new in the community center at West Orange City Hall thanks to some major upgrades.

According to Public Works Director Jon Sherwin, renovations included replacing carpet with vinyl flooring, replacing windows and other improvements.

“In 2022 we began replacing our static sign with an LED message board that can be used to display messages to the community,” Sherwin said.

A sign Mayor Randy Branch is excited about.

“The new digital sign gives us a better way to communicate city functions, activities and operating times and dates with the community,” Branch says.

Some renovations like the flooring and windows were simply a necessity after storm damage, according to Sherwin.

“Renovations began after we received insurance proceeds from a claim filed in 2018,” Sherwin said. “The city received money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and used those funds to replace the HVAC system, sign, council dais and add two video monitors in council chamber.”

The facility, which includes City Hall, located at 2700 Western Avenue, was built in 2000 using capital improvement funds the city had budgeted.

The renovations to the 23-year-old building were paid for through ARPA, while the landscaping was budgeted by the city.

“Landscaping was in bad shape and in need of renewal. Old Council/Court Dais was needing repairs and was out of date,” Branch said. “We decided to update by replacing.”

Since 2020 the Community Center has been utilized only for city council, municipal court, employee meetings and voting.

With a new look, Branch says the council will have to discuss whether or not to begin renting out the center.

“There is some reluctance to do so due to damage that is experienced when renting out the facility,” Branch said.

The total cost for the renovations was approximately $250,000.

— Written by Chrissie Mouton