2010 ROBERT B. KINSEY MEMORIAL AWARD
For many years, the Manalapan Township Committee and Recreation Advisors recognized the need to expand the recreation facilities within the Township. The demands of local youth and adult athletic leagues, as well as the Township Recreation department, significantly increased the use of the existing facilities of the Manalapan Recreation Center on County Route 522 also known as Freehold-Englishtown Road. The Manalapan Recreation Center is the centrally located Township Recreation Facility currently providing all of the athletic fields for local sports groups within the Township.
The acquisition of a 48-acre tract of land adjacent to the existing Recreation Center was the first step to providing the Municipality with the additional facilities it needed.
The Township Committee authorized Township Engineer Greg Valesi to develop an improvement plan for the site. The need was broad-based and was to include basketball courts, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and other team sports. There was also the desire by the sports leagues to have facilities of a caliber to hold large tournaments spanning several days that made the need for design of adequate parking, lighting, irrigation and circulation to and from adjacent facilities a must.
UNIQUE OR UNUSUAL DESIGN FEATURES:
Municipal officials held a grand opening celebration in May of 2009, kicking off the Township Soccer Club's Memorial Day Tournament, one of the largest in the area, opening the basketball courts, and allowing sports groups to utilize the synthetic turf field over the summer. The $5.6 million facility was fully opened on Labor Day weekend, 2009, hosting one of the largest baseball tournaments in central NJ.
Through the innovative phasing and design of Gregory Valesi, P.E., and his efforts to foster cooperation and satisfy the needs between the Township of Manalapan and the individual sports leagues in town, the Township has realized their goals for the expansion of the Recreation Center which will continue to provide facilities for the residents of the Township, and new fields for the local organization for years to come.