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Somerset YMCA Proposes a Facility in Monty, Requests Shuttered Town Hall Site

By Barbara A. Preston | Posted on June 6, 2024


The former Montgomery Township municipal building on Route 206 in Belle Mead, which closed in June 2022 when officials moved into the new municipal complex off Orchard Road, is slated for demolition. Over the years, many ideas have surfaced for use of the 18-acre site — including affordable housing and a public works building.


Add a new idea to the list. The Greater Somerset County YMCA CEO David M. Carcieri has written a letter to Mayor Neena Singh and to the Township Committee members asking them to “consider a donation of the property to the Greater Somerset County YMCA.”


The Montgomery News obtained a copy of the letter from the township clerk. The letter is expected to be shared with the Township Committee tonight at the June 6 meeting. (Click link to see item 18 under the title “Correspondence” on page 17 of the agenda.)


The mayor was not available to comment at press time. Former Mayor Devra Keenan, who is a township committee member, said she had not seen the letter yet.


Montgomery Township Committee shuttered town hall building in Belle Mead on Route 206

The former Montgomery Township municipal building on Route 206 in Belle Mead.


Too Premature to Comment

Township Committee Member Keenan said it is too premature to comment on this matter.


“Township Committee and township professionals would have to do a complete needs analysis,” she said. “This is the first we’ve heard of this.”


She said a federal grant of $1.5 million was secured through the office of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman to demolish the building and to remove part of the parking lot that floods.


“If this (YMCA) is something the community is interested in, then they should come to a township committee meeting,” Keenan said.


The Somerset County YMCA

The Greater Somerset County YMCA has facilities in seven locations: Princeton, Hillsborough, Bridgewater, Franklin Township, Plainfield, Somerset Hills, and Somerville


According to CEO Carcieri's letter, “We plan to establish a full-service YMCA facility in Montgomery Township that would allow us to provide vital programs that inspire children and teens to reach their full potential, that empower health and well-being among people of all ages, and that uplift neighbors who struggle financially, physically, and emotionally.”


Carcieri sent a letter to Montgomery Township Committee members on behalf of the Greater Somerset County YMCA on May 16.  In the letter, he said he is writing to state interest in the former municipal building/property at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead.


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“A new YMCA in Montgomery will be a gathering place where all community members have equitable access to resources that support overall health and well-being, including access to youth enrichment classes, swim lessons, summer camp, special needs programs, fitness and wellness options, chronic disease prevention programs, workforce development, teen mentoring, employment opportunities, and more.”


“Through our process to explore the opportunity, local residents have expressed interest and enthusiasm in – and see a need for – a YMCA in the community.” — CEO Carcieri.

The Greater Somerset County YMCA is a collaborative partner with the municipalities it serves, he added. “Specifically, the Y collaborates with municipal departments, like Parks & Recreation, to identify community needs, to mitigate duplication of services, to complement offerings, and to fill gaps that are not being met.”


The Greater Somerset YMCA is headquartered in Basking Ridge. ■

2 comentários


Khürt Williams
Khürt Williams
06 de jun.

Local YMCAs deliver projects and services focused on youth development through a wide variety of youth activities, including providing athletic facilities, holding classes for a wide variety of skills but also includes promoting Christianity. I don't want public properties being donated to benefit religious organisations.

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jstreleck
06 de jun.
Respondendo a

The YMCA website does say something about putting "Christian principles into practice", however, I have enrolled my kids at the Hillsborough YMCA for several years and have never seen any religious materials, messages, or promotion of Christianity whatsoever. It may be in their corporate mission statement, but I haven't seen anything resembling religion at the YMCA, no religious artwork on walls, no crosses, etc.

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