TOMS RIVER – Ocean County officials are preparing to construct a new building at 1027 Hooper Avenue to house programs administered by the Ocean County Board of Social Services and a number of other Ocean County government departments. Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, 82 , who also serves as a member of the Ocean County Board of Social Services, said planning has been underway for the new building for almost two years.
The building design was done by Mott MacDonald, the site work was coordinated by French & Parrello Associates and the project will be overseen by T&M Associates, both are pay to play firms that donate large sums of money to the election campaigns of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and receive lucrative public contracts countywide.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders on June 17 adopted a bonding ordinance appropriating $56,800,000 for the new building of which $53,700,000 will be issued in bond and bond anticipation notes.
“We anticipate construction to begin on the three-story, 121,000 square foot building before the end of this year,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Board of Social Services. “Not only will this new facility allow us to better serve our citizens, it will also provide us with a cost savings.”
Ocean County currently leases six buildings at 1027 Hooper Avenue many of which house Board of Social Services programs. Building No. 2 on the site houses county government services including the Office of Senior Services, Consumer Affairs Department, Veterans Services Bureau, Human Services, and the Ocean County Adjusters Office.
Once completed, the Ocean County Board of Social Services, will use 50 percent of the new facility while Ocean County government departments will use 18 percent. The rest of the square footage will be for shared services including conference rooms and other common spaces. About 400 social services board workers will occupy the new building.