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New Middlesex County park will provide ballfields for MCVTS Perth Amboy Campus

New Middlesex County park will provide ballfields for MCVTS Perth Amboy Campus

Middlesex County has broken ground on a new community park that will provide ballfields for students on the Perth Amboy Campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.

The $12 million project will redevelop a former industrial site across High Street from the campus on the bank of the Arthur Kill. Included will be a field for soccer and football, a second one for baseball and softball, a playground, a walkway on the waterfront, and parking.

The funding for acquisition, remedial work, and construction includes $7 million in state funding, with the rest provided by the county. The project, first conceived in 2014, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.

“This has been a long time coming,” Freeholder Director Ronald Rios said. “I’m excited about this project. The possibilities are endless.”

MCVTS Superintendent of Schools Dianne Veilleux pointed out that Perth Amboy Campus teams have had to depend on city and county facilities some distance from the school for their games.

“You’ve heard of the home-field advantage -- our teams have never had a home field,” she said, noting that the Perth Amboy Campus softball team won their division last season in spite of playing all road games.

“These new fields will change the daily lives of our students in a wonderful way,” Veilleux said.

Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz said the new park will be a resource for her 4.5-square-mile community, which has a deficit of green spaces.

“We’ve become quite creative in repurposing properties,” she said. “This was a blighted area for over 20 years.

“When you look at the renderings, it’s just so exciting,” Diaz added. “It’s a turning point for this section of town.”

Other officials at the ceremony included Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, Perth Amboy Council President William Petrick, Councilman Joel Pabon, Middlesex County Director of Parks and Recreation Rick Lear, MCVTS Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Bicsko, School Business Administrator Karl Knehr and Perth Amboy Campus Principal Robert Fuller.

Najarian Associates of Eatontown is in charge of the project.