By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
Sea Bright – Sunday, October 15, 2023 the borough held a grand opening of their recreation center. Superstorm Sandy slammed into our coast nearly 11 years ago to the day. Sea Bright with the Shrewsbury River on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other was almost wiped out totally.
One building that is literally a stone’s throw from the beach went virtually untouched. That building, located at 1167 Ocean Avenue, was the recreation building. Right next door was Donovan’s Reef bar and restaurant, which was completely destroyed.
“It was amazing that this old building sitting right on the ocean had very little damage,” said Sea Bright Mayor Brian Kelly. He stated that after the storm passed and the borough inspected everything, the recreation building was still functional. “It was a good thing, as we had to move all our borough offices into this building. We had offices set-up on the basketball court and in every room we could use.”
Two years ago Sea Bright opened their new municipal building and moved out of the recreation center. Over the past two years the building was renovated. “What is really cool, it looks exactly as it did before Superstorm Sandy. We redid the gym floors with its half-court basketball court, and updated the game room,” said Kelly.
Don Klein, Recreation Director and Beach Manager, organized the ribbon cutting of the recreation center. “There are so many people that we need to thank, Mayor Brian Kelly, Borough Administrator Joe Verruni, and all the council members, especially Heather Gorman who is in charge of the recreation department,” said Klein.
Sea Bright Fire and EMS were on hand cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone who attended the ribbon cutting. The recreation department also had several blow-up bouncy rides for the children, along with face painting and popcorn.
“This is a very special day for the residents of Sea Bright. We will continue to provide exceptional recreational programs for the children of the borough. As always, the children of Sea Bright come first, and it’s nice to have our building and programs back,” Klein said.