Mar-12-15 New Jersey Youth Corps Restore Historic Building at Sandy Hook
SANDY HOOK, N.J., March 12, 2015 _ New Jersey Youth Corps members descended on Sandy Hook’s Fort Hancock today to assist in a one-day clean-up of an historic building to help the National Park Service begin to prepare old structures in the larger Gateway National Recreation Area for lease and use by private and non-profit businesses.
The cleanup of what is called “Building 27” was done by 25 New Jersey Youth Corps members from Asbury Park, Jersey City, Paterson and Phillipsburg to make the building more appealing to potential leaseholders under an adaptive reuse plan designed to preserve the structure. The building is one of two at Sandy Hook which the National Park Services is planning to lease for use as bed-and-breakfasts.
While their efforts assisted the National Park Service, the project also provided the Youth Corps workers with the first of several opportunities being planned to give them work experience in restoring historic structures. Youth Corps leaders hope the project can lead to full-time future employment for the corps members.
“The Youth Corps, which is funded by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, engages young men and women between the ages of 16 to 25, in a year-round program of full-time community service, training, and educational activities in the hopes of putting them on a path of self-reliance. Our goal is to get them full-time employment or even back to school where they can embark on a career,” said Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths.
Youth Corps staff act as mentors and role models as the youth teams conduct service projects throughout the state, including working in soup kitchens, delivering Meals on Wheels, planting trees and restoring hiking trails. The corps, located in 12 areas of the state, conducted many post-Superstorm Sandy cleanups and historically have assisted New Jersey communities in a variety of work and restoration projects.
More information about New Jersey Youth Corps can be found at http://careerconnections.nj.gov/careerconnections/plan/foryou/youth/youth_services.shtml.
Sandy Hook’s Fort Hancock and the Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark, which covers the entire Sandy Hook peninsula in New Jersey, are part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The peninsula has played a major role in the defense of New York Harbor from colonial days to the present. Fort Hancock, a U.S. Army fort, was established in 1895 and operated until it was deactivated in 1974. Most of the landmark is located in the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.
The National Park Service has issued a Request for Proposals to lease two buildings as bed-and-breakfasts, and other buildings are available for lease as residences or for non-profit organizations.
The 26,000-acre Gateway National Recreation Area is America's first urban national park. It is located in three separate geographic units: Sandy Hook, New Jersey; Jamaica Bay and Staten Island, New York City.
For information about Gateway's upcoming public programs, see the park's Web site at:
New Jersey Youth Corps programs from Asbury Park, Jersey City and Phillipsburg joined forces to clean a building at Fort Hancock at the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.