369-acre park ready to open on site of former federal depot

  NJ.com 
Somerset County's newest open space, the 369-acre Mountain View Park, will officially open on April 22, 2017. HILLSBOROUGH  - Somerset County's newest open space, the 369-acreMountain View Park , will officially open on Saturday. Built on part of the former Belle Mead Depot, the park, located off Route 206 and accessed by Mountain View Road, the park features lighted adult and youth baseball and softball fields with batting cages, a playground, pavilion, concession building and a paved trail that rings the 369-acre property, according to county plans. There is also a special needs challenger field and room to add up to six additional baseball and softball fields. The county also recently announced the purchase of a former swim club in Green Brook that will become part of a 22-acre park in that township. Some 40 acres near Mountain View Road will be reserved for future commercial use, with proceeds from the sale of the 40 acres used to offset the park's development, it was previously reported. Former N.J. swim club to become 22-acre park A ceremony marking the opening of the park will be held at 11:30 a.m. featuring officials from Somerset County and Hillsborough Township. The township and county in 2008 agreed to jointly purchase the land, with the Somerset County Improvement Authority paying just under $15.7 million for it in 2009. A $16.7 million construction project was undertaken by Tomco Construction of Lake Hopatcong, with groundbreaking taking place in 2014. In World War II the property was used to house Italian prisoners of war before being used as a warehouse facility by the General Services Administration. "County leadership has focused on this property since the 1950s and it is an honor to satisfy the legacy that they set for us," Freeholder Peter S. Palmer previously said . Cleanup at the property included the removal of approximately 20 miles of rail bed, 1,512 cubic yards of contaminated soil and stone and some 2.6 million square-feet of concrete from 14 foundation slabs. In addition, a waste water treatment plant was removed and crushed with 107,000 gallons of gray water and 23,000 gallons of sludge removed and properly disposed. The park is next to Somerset County's 5,500-acre Sourland Mountain Preserve and close to the township's Ann Van Middlesworth Park. ▶ Full story on nj.com

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