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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 01, 2017

Bell Works Update: New Library for Holmdel

By Lori Draz

2017 kicked off in a big way as plans for the new Holmdel Library & Learning Center at Bell Works were unveiled to a large and very interested crowd of residents, businesses, and dignitaries, including Monmouth County Library Commissioner Renee Schwartz and Freeholder Serena DiMaso.

The highlight of the January 12 event occurred when Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker presented an oversized check for a $1 million donation for the state-of-the-art expanded library facility to new Holmdel Mayor Gregory Buontempo.

The crowd was so large, they had to bring out more chairs for everyone who listened in silence, first to an address from the new mayor, then from Mr. Zucker, who shared that he has come to call all the people involved in the redevelopment his friends. He also said the $1 million donation was for the construction of the facility and that the donation of the nearly 20,000-square-foot space makes their commitment even more valuable.

The new Holmdel Library & Learning Center will be located in the two-million-square-foot former Bell Labs facility on Crawfords Corner Road. Unlike its current home in the basement at town hall, the new library will feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls all around, providing panoramic views of the beautiful grounds from practically every angle. The library will receive a host of upgrades, including updated technological infrastructure and a Library Learning Center with new educational programs and services.

Mr. Zucker shared his memories of childhood, when he would escape the summer heat in the library. There, he learned to love reading and the feeling of being in a center of learning, exploring, and sharing ideas. He continued by saying, “Bell Works is once again blossoming with life, as more and more businesses establish their roots here in this building each month. But our vision for Bell Works goes beyond the walls of the office. We are creating so much more than an office building; we’re creating a diverse destination for the entire surrounding community. The new Holmdel Public Library is an essential component of this effort to create a place that everyone, regardless of age or occupation, can enjoy on a daily basis.”

Mayor Buontempo said, “A library is the backbone of a community. Ours will be a place where Holmdel residents – and especially our youth – can find a true safe haven for education, and a place to explore their intellectual curiosity. This new Library and Learning Center will enable us to for first time to hold classes for every age and interest. These programs will begin later this year, when the facility is completed. And I will be announcing some very special events as we get close to the grand opening.” Mayor Buontempo later added that he is available to speak at any of the school groups or community functions in town regarding the new library and learning center, for those who were not able to attend the presentation. He can be contacted via email at gbuontempo@holmdeltownship-nj.com.

The crowd was also treated to a speech from the facility’s lead architect, Anthony Iovino, who explained how his design concept married the collaborative and idea-sharing history of the landmark space. He showed a series of detailed renderings of the plans for the library, which include a showcase of historical artifacts from the iconic Bell Labs facility. Those renderings are on display in the current library in town hall and can be viewed during regular business hours.

Bell Works is preparing for a very busy 2017 of welcoming new tenants, businesses, restaurants, and the new library.