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Posted on: September 26, 2019

Baird Community Center Closing

baird closing

The Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs and South Orange Parking Authority have relocated.

The Baird Community Center has closed in preparation for a major renovation of the building. The offices of the Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs and the South Orange Parking Authority, have moved to a new location at 298 Walton Ave in South Orange.  The new offices will operate during Village business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs program and membership registration will continue to be available online any time of day or night at: https://secure.rec1.com/NJ/south-orange-village-township-nj/catalog

The planned improvements at the Baird include roof replacement, repairs and restoration of the building exterior, including the replacement of the 2nd story porch, and a complete renovation of the community center interior. The “new” building will include a beautiful community space and café that leads out to the porch, dance and fitness spaces, dedicated art rooms, a multi-purpose performance space and a public meeting space. The Pierro Gallery will be housed on the first level in the renovated building. Finally, there will be a two-story field house addition that will include a garage and storage on the ground level and a gymnasium on the 2nd floor.

The Baird Community Center will remain closed for the duration of the renovation and reconstruction, which is anticipated to take approximately 2 years. The building closure will impact adjacent and related recreation facilities as follows:

  • Basketball Courts: The basketball courts adjacent to the Baird will remain accessible until the construction begins later in the year. The courts will fall inside the fenced in area defining the construction zone.
  • The platform courts will be removed from the 5 Mead Street location.  It has been determined that these courts cannot be salvaged. The Village plans to include new paddle tennis courts in a future project located in an alternate location. The courts will be available for use until construction begins.
  • The batting cages located in the garage behind the Baird will be closed as of October 10th.  The garage will be demolished as part of the project. The site will be the location of a new field house addition to the building.
  • Tennis Courts: The tennis courts are not expected to be impacted by the construction project.
  • Park and Ball Fields: These areas are not expected to be directly impacted by the construction project. It is possible that baseball/softball diamond #1 will be out of play during part of the project. Portable toilets will need to take the place of the public facilities previously accessible at the Baird. Parking may also be affected during certain phases of the project.

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