Baird Community Center

Project Summary

A new entrance was recently completed at the Baird Community Center on Mead Street. An ADA grant from Essex County provided partial funding for this project, which provides a new ramp for handicap accessibility. While the primary purpose was to improve accessibility, the design of the entrance is historically compatible with the old building and creates a beautiful entrance and surrounding porch area that residents of the community can be proud of.

The Village recently awarded a contract to renovate the Baird bathrooms and bring them into ADA compliance, also with significant Essex County CDBG Grant funding.   

The Village is proceeding with plans to completely renovate the entire Baird building and is in the process of retaining a project architect to complete the plans and specifications to go out to bid.  The improvements at the Baird will include a roof replacement, repairs and restoration of the building exterior, including the replacement of the 2nd story porch, and a complete renovation of community center interior.

The Paddle Tennis courts will be removed to allow for better access to the new field house, rear of the building as well as more effective storm water management for the Baird Center building site.  The poor condition and age of these courts does not allow for relocation or renovation.  The current plan is to place new paddle tennis courts in the park area currently occupied by the Cameron Field Tennis Courts near our pool.  The Village plans to re-purpose the Cameron court area into a more effective and better utilized recreation site. The Village plans to put out a request for proposals later this year to redevelop the Cameron courts in its entirety.

The Baird Center project design phase is almost complete and The Biber Partnership and is going to make a public presentation at the Board of Trustee’s meeting on March 25th. This presentation will address all of the changes that have been made since the original building design draft was presented to the public. This is a very exciting time for recreation in South Orange and we hope to start construction in the last quarter of 2019. The reconstruction of the Baird is anticipated to take 2 years. In the meantime, Department Staff will be relocated and we are working on finding alternate indoor space in South Orange and/or Maplewood for some popular department programs. 

Click HERE for the most recent presentation and drawings.

Schedule & Updates

Subject to change, last revision 3/25/2019

Phase One (Pre Design)July 2018
Phase Two (Design Development)January 2019
Construction Documents May 2019
Public BiddingJune 2019
ConstructionSeptember 2019
Project Completion May 2021

Project Manager / Contact 

Peter Travers, Deputy Director of Recreation and Cultural Affairs
Recreation and Cultural Affairs
(973) 378-7715 Ext. 2322

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