A task force formed earlier this year to suss out the potential costs of a Red Bank community center got a green light last night from the borough council to move to the next step.
The task force will now solicit proposals from nonprofit organizations, such as the Community YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County, asking for estimates of the costs to run a center at a borough-owned building at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Bridge Avenue.
As outlined by a series of memos, the center would feature programming for “school aged youth and the whole community.” The committee will ask bidders to include in their proposals a game room; instruction in job searching and college prep; classes in drama and other arts; and health-oriented programs and more.
It also asks for both a “quiet area for reading/studying” and a “DJ karaoke room.”
According to a rough estimate prepared by Parks & Rec Director Bob Evans, it would cost the borough $95,000 in the first year if Red Bank were to operate the center itself. But task force head Mike DuPont, a council member, said the group was unable to obtain estimates from third parties without council approval. That was granted last night.
Last October, the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County. Such an arrangement could cost the borough as little as $47,000 a year, he estimated at the time.
The idea for the center came from Prown, a children’s activist and business owner who later rallied support for a plan to stop the borough from selling a two-story building at the corner of Bridge Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. Once the home of Bizarro’s Bar, the building was rented from the town by the Count Basie Learning Center, an arm of the Community YMCA. The learning center moved out over a year ago.
Two attempts by the borough to auction the building at a minimum bid of $800,000 failed to attract any bids.
The task force was formed by Menna in January. At the time, he said he expected the group to complete its work in 30 to 60 days.