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NJDCA Awards Belleville $86K to Enhance Athletics, Recreational Experience


By: Richard L. Smith 

Belleville Township officials reported that they received a grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs that will help the school district expand and enhanstudents'the athletic and recreational experiennts.


According to Township School Superintendent Dr. Richard  Tomko, Belleville has been awarded $86,000 in local recreation improvement grants from the department’s Division of Local Government Services.

The local amount represents Belleville’s share of $25 million in grants being handed out to 352 local governments after a competitive application process. 

Although the district hasn’t finalized its plans for the grant, Belleville Schools Superintendent Dr. Richard Tomko said it will be put toward purchasing sports equipment and expanding athletic facilities.

“We are committed to providing a rich array of athletic and recreational opportunities,” Dr. Tomko said.

“As educators, it’s important to realize that not all lessons are learned in a classroom or a lab. Noble traits like teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance are often learned on courts, diamonds, gridirons and fields.”


Dr. Tomko’s said under his leadership, creating better athletic and recreational facilities has been an ongoing focus.

According to Dr. Tomko, the crowning jewel of those efforts is the Belleville Indoor Training Facility on Cortlandt Street.

The 25,000-square-foot space in a converted auto body shop is designed for high school athletes as well as weekend warriors throughout the community.

The facility, which opened to great fanfare in October, includes a workout room with equipment ranging from a golf driving simulator to chest presses to rowing machines. There are also two wrestling rooms with new mats and an all-purpose room with hardwood floors.

The centerpiece of the Belleville Indoor Training Facility is a cavernous, carpeted space that can be set up for soccer training, batting cage sessions, track and field drills, lacrosse practice and more.

The ribbon was cut on the new track at the Municipal Stadium Complex behind Belleville High School just last week. 

The new eight-lane competitive track has been in the works for decades and is part of a $5.5 million project to enhance and expand the athletic facilities in the township.

The blue track, with its distinctive gold lane stripping, will allow the Buccaneers track team to host meets after competing on the road for several years.