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Officials Celebrate Opening of Remsen Avenue Community Center

Unity Square, a Catholic Organization Dedicated to New Brunswick Neighborhood, Opens Center in Former Firehouse on Remsen
Ribbon Cutting
City officials and members of Unity Square and the Promise Culinary School gather to cut the ribbon Molly O'Brien

UPDATE (6/13): Due to inclement weather, the block party has been postponed until next Friday 6/20.  People are still welcome to watch the World Cup at the community center.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The brand-new Unity Square Community Center held a grand opening ceremony Thursday at 81 Remsen Avenue, the site of a former firehouse at the corner with Suydam Street.

And on Friday, June 13 the new venue will host a free World Cup viewing at the new location as well as a grand opening block party, where visitors to the center can enjoy the day's scheduled match between Mexico and Cameroon.

The rain date is next Friday, June 20 should incelement weather occur.

Free food, games for children and more will be available from 12pm until 8pm in celebration of the new Unity Square location.  All are welcome.

Part of Catholic Charities, Unity Square is an organization, that provides many positive services and mentorship opportunities in the city including ESL classes, community gardens, and job training.

The building once served as an operating firehouse in the early 20th century, and later as a police substation.

On June 12, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an official "door-raising" with Mayor James Cahill, members of the New Brunswick Fire Department, New Brunswick Police Department, and members of the New Brunswick City Council.

Mayor Cahill told those who attended that the firehouse was once an "underutilized building that had a proud history of serving the community."

Now, after a facelift from New Brunswick's own design firm DIGroup Archictecture (located at 15 Bethany Street), the old firehouse has a new look complete with office space and a kitchen.

The Promise Culinary School, an extension of the city's soup kitchen Elijah's Promise, will have three paid staff members working out of the kitchen and teaching day and evening culinary arts classes.

Through the NJ Department of Community Affairs Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) fund, Johnson and Johnson was able to provide a $900,000 grant to Unity Square.  Other financial partners of Unity Square include PNC Bank, Wells Fargo, Sanofi Aventus, and PSE&G.

On the second floor of the firehouse will be a new and improved museum celebrating the efforts of firemen serving the city of New Brunswick and the rest of the country.