MAYOR BOLLWAGE CUTS THE RIBBON FOR CITY’S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL LEARNING CENTER

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MAYOR BOLLWAGE CUTS THE RIBBON FOR CITY’S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL LEARNING CENTER 
 
ELIZABETH, NJ—December 2, 2015— Earlier this afternoon, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage joined several elected officials, dedicated partners and organizations as well as many residents at the grand opening of the new African American Cultural Learning Center.
 
“I am pleased to officially open the doors to this wonderful facility, which provides a cultural destination for our residents,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “In addition to creating new jobs and affordable housing opportunities, this initiative  is a testament to what can be achieved when hard working and determined partners  come together to make a difference. I would like to thank all of those who were involved in bringing this project to fruition.”
 
Hosted by the N.J. Community Development Group, LLC, the ribbon cutting showcased the new Spring Street Project, which is a $4.8 million neighborhood revitalization initiative featuring the city’s first African-American Cultural and Learning Center. 
 
Located in the Keighry Head section of Elizabeth, the African-American Cultural and Learning Center houses a performance space, commercial kitchen and offices. It features 20 housing units, six of which were constructed with special accommodations for people with disabilities.  
 
“The idea for the Center emerged after a series of community meetings with local residents, who believed a venue for African-American arts, culture and education activities would enhance the quality of life in their neighborhood,” said Armando D’Errico, CEO and President of N.J. Community Development Group. “Another key aspect of the 39,498 square foot site project is that the N.J. Community Development Group employed local residents throughout its construction.”
 
Dignitaries included: Mayor J Christian Bollwage, Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Freeholder Bruce Bergen, Freeholder Sergio Granados, Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, Council President Patricia Perkins-Auguste, Councilman-At-Large Manny Grova, Jr., Councilman William Gallman, Jr. and Councilman Kevin Kiniery.
 
Dedicated partners, who have brought this project to fruition, include: the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development, Elizabeth City Council, 20th Legislative District, The County of Union, Elizabeth Home Improvement Program, Elizabeth Development Company, North Jersey Community Bank and the NJ Community Development Group.
 
“On behalf of my Freeholder colleagues and our Union County Manager Al Faella, who grew up in this neighborhood, we are thrilled to see the culmination of an urban renewal project that taps into the history and social fabric of Elizabeth’s community, said Union County Freeholder Bruce Bergen. “I am proud to say that the County of Union was a willing and able partner in this project and I would like to thank all of the key partners who made this happen.”
 
The facility is located at 460-466 Spring Street (Route 1 & 9 South at corner of Emma Street).