In an effort to condense space and save money over time the Ocean County Freeholders announced that a new building will be constructed at 1027 Hooper Avenue which will house programs run by the Ocean County Board of Social Services as well as other government departments.

Ocean County currently leases six buildings at 1027 Hooper Avenue many of which house those very 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.

The new building would combine all of those services and programs into one central location with the OCBSS using 50-percent of the facility while the other departments will use 18-percent with the remaining 32-percent being used for shared services including conference rooms and other common spaces.

There will be 400 social service board workers in the new building.

Ocean County purchased 10 acres of the 1027 Hooper Avenue site and four of the current buildings located there which will be demolished to make room for the new BSS building.

There will also be 715 parking spaces for the new building.

“We anticipate construction to begin on the three-story, 121,000 square foot building before the end of this year,” Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Board of Social Services, said in a statement. “Not only will this new facility allow us to better serve our citizens, it will also provide us with a cost savings.”

Quinn noted the anticipated move into the new building will be during the first quarter of 2022.

“We will be saving at least $3 million annually by no longer having to make lease payments on the buildings,” Quinn said. “In addition the new building will be energy efficient and the maintenance costs will be far lower. Part of the savings includes the reimbursement from the state and federal governments for housing the Board of Social Services along with the consolidation of the services into one building."

The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a bonding ordinance at their meeting on Wednesday appropriating $56,800,000 for the new building of which $53,700,000 will be issued in bond and bond anticipation notes.

“The age and current conditions of the buildings that house the Ocean Board of Social Services programs have resulted in the need to replace the facilities,” Quinn said. “The maintenance costs continue to increase and in the long run, this new building will be far more beneficial for our citizens and our staff. With our lease expiring in June 2022 this is a good time to make these plans and move them forward."

The new building will also house the county government offices located now in Building 2 along with the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Superintendent of Schools and Ocean County PIC (formerly Private Industry Council).

Computer training rooms also will be available for job training in the new building.

“This new building will house programs that provide opportunities for many of our residents,” Quinn said. “We want this building to represent the lifeline offered by the Ocean County Board of Social Services and a symbol of possibilities for those citizens that need help to get ahead.”

The Ocean County Board of Social Services administers over 50 programs to County residents including SNAP (food stamps), General Assistance, Child Support, Adult Protective Services, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Homeless Services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid and Statewide Respite.

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.

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