By DON STINE
A more than 100-year-old house in Neptune is being demolished to make way for several multipurpose athletic fields.
The Township Committee passed a resolution at this week’s meeting awarding a $39,875 contract to Nacirema Demolition and Recycling, based in Matawan, to demolish and remove the debris. Earlier plans for the house included a museum or a recreation center but it was determined that rehabilitating the house would be too costly, especially since there is asbestos there.
“It will cost more than $1 million to rehabilitate the building and it still would not be handicapped accessible,” Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said previously.
Gadaleta said it is too early to set a demolition date yet.
The house, at 703 Old Corlies Ave., was built between May, 1910 and January, 1913. The 6.46-acre tract was originally the Wardell dairy, the oldest-operating dairy in Monmouth County until it closed after merging with Welsh Farms in 1975. It is the largest undeveloped tract on Old Corlies Avenue and had been vacant for years. The property was never a farm, always a dairy. The township’s Veteran’s Memorial Park is now on an eastern portion of the site and the athletic fields are next on the agenda for the site.
The fields are scheduled to be mini-versions of soccer and football fields that can be striped to create different kinds of courts. The project also includes plans for six bocce courts, horseshoe pits, and landscaping. The fields will be synthetic turf. The total project will cost about $606,000, with the grant money expected to offset costs.
Albert Wardell and his brother Joseph, founded their dairy on the site in 1900 while previously living on their family farm at what is now Route 66, where the former Asbury Park Press building stood and where Chelsea Outlet Mall now stands. Reportedly the deal was sealed for $100 and a handshake.