Montclair, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. met with senior citizen and other members of the community on Monday, December 6th to discuss the latest proposal to create a new Wally Choice Community Center in Essex County Glenfield Park. The afternoon meeting was an opportunity to gather input from the people who utilize the building. Artist renderings of the concept were displayed.

“The Wally Choice Community Center has been a hub of activity and social gathering for the community. The building, however, no longer meets the growing needs of residents and groups that utilize Essex County Glenfield Park. As part of our ongoing initiative to update our parks facilities and revitalize our parks, we will be building a modern community center in Glenfield Park that will provide a welcoming environment for visitors and ample space for the organizations that call Glenfield Park home,” DiVincenzo said.

While plans still need to be finalized, the building will be about 10,000 square feet, which is about twice the size of the current park building. The new building will be located to the right of the existing Wally Choice Center and will be situated closer to the street. A parking lot with about 40 spaces will be created in front of the building to make it more accessible.

The building will be designed similar to recent community center projects completed in Essex County Cedar Grove Park, Essex County Watsessing Park and Essex County Weequahic Park. Another project to update the community center in Essex County West Side Park also is underway. The new building, which will continue to be called the Wally Choice Community Center, will have a large activity room, a computer room, office space, a kitchen and a room to be used as a substation for the Montclair Police Department. A patio for outdoor seating will be located on the back of the building.

Also part of the project is the modernization of the football field. The field will be updated with a synthetic grass surface and sports lighting.

Essex County hired Comito Associates from Newark to design the facility. The NJ Department of Community Affairs is providing a $5 million grant to help fund the project.

2 replies on “Big Plans For Montclair’s Wally Choice Community Center”

  1. It looks just like the one in Cedar Grove.
    With the County in charge, I wonder how much LifeLong Montclair and other Township senior (and other) entities will be allowed to use it.
    The O’Toole Center in CG is essentially one big cafeteria room used for low-income lunches, and not much else. Once it opened, I heard CG & maybe Verona stopped their own senior programs.
    The plans for the Mills Bldg. renovation, which The Council then nixed, included various rooms for classes, exercise, theater, etc. for a full community/senior center, not just a feeding hall.

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