Edison Senior Center remains closed for safety issues

·3 min read

EDISON – The Edison Senior Center on Woodbridge Avenue has been closed for two weeks to in-person activities due to a building issue.

Chief of Staff Bob Diehl said the issue relates to the sprinkler system.

“While we were renovating the senior center bathrooms, it was determined we would put in a new sprinkler system,” Diehl said. “We are moving quickly to get it done as soon as possible and reopen the Senior Center.”

Councilman Richard Brescher, however, said a recent re-inspection by the Edison Fire Department also uncovered emergency lights that were not working, exit signs with issues related to whether they work, missing components on the fire alarm panel and the sprinkler system turned off.

In a video posted to Brescher's Facebook page Friday, he said the fire department deemed the senior center a hazard and the building, which also serves as a cooling center on hot days, was shut down. The closure was announced by the township on July 29.

At the last township council meeting, members tabled a resolution awarding an emergency contract and purchase order to Allied Fire & Safety for a fire suppression system replacement at the senior center at a cost of $115,000.

Brescher said a 2019 report noted a leak in the building's sprinkler system and an inspection of the piping system was recommended by the fire alarm company. The following year the fire department reviewed the building and noted there were no reports for the building’s fire sprinkler and fire panel, Brescher said.

"This is our life safety device right here, the ones that notify you there's a fire," Brescher said. "None of these items were taken care of in 2020."

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He said the same issues were noted in a 2021 report along with a recommendation that the piping be checked for leaks and sludge and that problem piping be treated or replaced.

Brescher said the fire department's 2021 report also noted emergency doors that were too hard for senior citizens to open in the event of a fire or other emergency as well as issues with whether the fire and smoke alarms and the sprinkler system were working.

The Edison Senior Center, located at 2963 Woodbridge Ave., is the only one in the township.

With the building's closure, senior transportation services have continued to be provided and some activities have been relocated.

For the week of Aug. 15, senior citizen activities will be held at the Woodbrook Elementary School, 15 Robin Road, township officials announced.

With the building closed, Jay Elliot, township director of health and human services, arranged to relocate staff to the William Toth Health Center on Idlewild Road. The township has plans to expand that facility by 2,000 square feet and rename it the Toth Health and Senior Center and provide programming similar to the activities at the Woodbridge Avenue senior center.

Elliot said phones were redirected and additional computer workstations were installed. In addition, arrangements were made to maintain transportation (medical, shopping, etc.) and home delivery of meals. Nutrition staff has offered home delivered meals to those that have been receiving in-person meals at the center, he said.

He said staff contacted club presidents and seniors scheduled to attend exercise and dance classes at the center. An Aug. 2 county sponsored art program was relocated to the health center.

Questions and updates about senior services can be obtained by calling 732-248-7345 and following Edison Township Government Facebook page.

Email: srussell@gannettnj.com

Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Edison Senior Center remains closed for safety issues