Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Demolition of old Grant Avenue Community Center makes way for parking

New BUF2 preschool will now have dedicated parking.
Plainfield's BUF Health & Human Services agency rounds out its long-term plan for the development of its preschool facility at Grant Avenue and West 6th Street with the demolition of the original Grant Avenue Community Center building at West 5th and Grant.

The Victorian mansion was where Plainfield's once-premier Black social service agency got its start, as an outgrowth of the 1960s War on Poverty. Eventually, under the leadership of the late Mayor Rick Taylor, the agency took over the Jewish Community Center at West 7th and Central Avenue.

That building and its programs eventually came under the umbrella of the Black United Fund of NJ (known to all simply as BUF), headquartered in East Orange. Now known as the African American Fund of NJ, the Plainfield facility is now known as BUF Health and Human Services.

It was this agency which secured funding through a bond issue of the Union County Improvement Authority for the construction of the new facility, dubbed BUF2, at the corner of West 6th and Grant Avenue.

That facility, which opened in September 2009, is in a state-of-the-art 'green' building that was partly exceptional for its nearly entire coverage of the lot on which it was situated.

At the time, BUF2's staff parking needs were accommodated through an arrangement with Greater Refuge Church of Christ, whose church parking lot is across the street from the new preschool.

However, the agency had agreed with the city that eventually the old building at West 5th and Grant would be demolished to make way for new and permanent parking for BUF2.

That demolition has been taking place over the summer and the new parking lot will soon be in place.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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