Newly purchased, the Club At Woodbridge is now township property

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Newly purchased, the Club At Woodbridge is now township property

Photo Credit: Photo via http://theclub.org used with permission

Photo Credit: Photo via http://theclub.org used with permission

Photo Credit: Photo via http://theclub.org used with permission

By: Frankie Brock, Editor in Cheif

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The Club At Woodbridge and the Woodbridge Community Center located across the street from one another have coexisted for over 15 years. Woodbridge Township recently purchased The Club to ensure both business thrive and continue to encourage community envelopment.

Mayor John McCormick explained the are multiple reasons as to why the Township decided to buy the club. Mainly it was done in order to prevent some outside entity from buying it and threatening the Woodbridge Community Center across the street. The businesses have successfully coexisted for so long because they each run two distinctly different operations. The Club, exactly what the title entails, has more of a country club feel. Whereas the Woodbridge Community Center is more public and openly accessible.

Both have weights, cardio, basketball, a pool, a track, concession stand and day care.  The Club has racquetball, tennis, and badminton and the Community Center has an ice roller rink. Ultimately if someone ran the club differently it could be a major problem for the Community center. The Township also likes to control development and did not like the idea of someone building a housing development on the land. 

Purchased for $7.5 million dollars the club is certainly a hearty investment. Initially appraised for $8.1 million as of June 25, 2018. It can be argued the township got a bit of a deal. Though the owners, who have run The Club since 1976, were reluctant to sell, it was the best decision for business. Previous owner Ray Zirpolo though retiring from his duties won’t be far from home. “I joined,” he said excitedly, “I have a senior  daytime membership” (quote via My Central Jersey.com).

Alterations to The Club at Woodbridge

The Club will remain largely the same under new ownership. With this in mind repairs and alterations must be made in order to bring the building up to par with modern construction codes according to the Building Assessment of The Club at Woodbridge. The expected cost for construction is $2.1 million dollars. Previously allotted to the project by the township. They plan on redoing the roof, the heating and air conditioning ventilation units and the fire suppression system. So far the club has undergone a massive cleanup. They are currently repainting most of the building.  They intent to make the building handicapped accessible which is it not because it was built before all the rules were put into place.

Welcoming and Inviting the front doors of The Club at Woodbridge encourage people to come inside. Photo Credit: Photo via http://theclub.org used with permission

In the future the Township plans on replacing the tennis courts with another ice rink. Which will allow the club and community center to attract hockey tournaments from the entire mid-Atlantic region. McCormick commented “This will encourage people to stay in our hotels and eat at our restaurants and shop in our stores.” Tennis on the other hand does not bring in many people and does not make as much money.

 Controversy to the decision

People around Woodbridge have voiced the concern  about “where did this money come from?” Worried the money for the purchase came from their tax dollars, citizens are concerned. But, that is not the case. The building was not purchased with taxpayer dollars but through the Recreation Utility. Which is funded from user fees and other monies secured from the township’s profitable operations. Including the Community Center and recreational programs.

McCormick sympathized, “We do not run the WCC to make money and the same will be true at the Club. But we do not want to lose money either. Neither operation is covered by property tax dollars as they are self-sufficient and accounting for in another fund. We just want our residents to be able to enjoy both.”

The Future of The Club

McCormick noted that currently the board is not sure about holding Township events at The Club yet. “Frankly, the members get upset when the Club previously held events there because of the crowds they bring.” The township is likely to keep the events at the WCC.

In the future, they are sure to see an increase of membership and activity at the club that will potentially bring visitors to Woodbridge Township. Hopefully both The Club at Woodbridge and the Woodbridge Community Center will thrive in years to come despite being across the street from each other.

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