The Healthy Way
Unlike other waterproofers in New Jersey, we provide our customers with a streamlined process for all of their waterproofing needs. Our goal is to get to the crux of your home’s issues. If we spot signs of water in your basement, we go right to the source of the problem, working hard to fix structural deficiencies to prevent problems like mold growth and foundation damage. We are proud to be New Jersey’s one-stop shop for all of your basement waterproofing needs. New Jersey homeowners choose Healthy Way because our experts are friendly, experienced, harworking, and fully certified. We won’t rest until your waterproofing problems are solved. Because we specialize in both interior and exterior waterproofing services, you won’t have to worry about hiring a laundry list of contractors to correct your moisture problems. With Healthy Way provides all-inclusive basement waterproofing in Roosevelt, it’s no surprise that New Jersey residents trust Healthy Way to make their homes more livable every day.
The Healthy Way Difference
At Healthy Way, we strive to set ourselves apart from the competition by offering the best basement waterproofing services in New Jersey. We won’t be happy with our work until you are 100% satisfied, whether you need a thorough moisture inspection or a large-scale waterproofing project. Our basement waterproofing experts are certified, trained, and have worked on more than 4,000 repairs. They understand that your moisture problems aren’t like anybody else’s, which is why all of our waterproofing proposals are created specifically for your home. You won’t find any “one-size-fits-all” solutions here, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Best warranties in the industry
- Free initial inspection
- Full-service basement waterproofing
- Mold remediation
- Foundation repair
- Water management solutions tailored to your unique situation
Once your basement waterproofing project is complete, we make it a point to keep our staff available to address any questions or concerns you may have. Our goal is your 100% satisfaction, from the moment you call our office to schedule an inspection to the time you sign off on our work.
Waterproofing Services in New Jersey
With more than two decades of experience and a team of fully certified and trained waterproofing professionals, there is no waterproofing project in New Jersey that we can’t handle. When not addressed, water and moisture problems can cause serious health risks for your family. We’re talking buckling walls, sinking foundations, and even toxic mold. With your home’s value and your family’s health on the line, you must attack these problems head-on, and the best way to do that is by bringing in the Healthy Way team. Some signs of existing water problems in your home can include:
- Signs of rust or oxidation on metal fixtures
- Mildew residue
- Water stains on your foundation’s walls and floors
- Erosion of your concrete
- Mineral deposits found on pipes
- Flooded landscaping after heavy rain or snow
- Pooling water around your foundation’s interior
- Humidity levels above 60% in your basement or crawlspace
Basement Waterproofing in Roosevelt
Healthy Way has been providing the most trusted, effective basement waterproofing in New Jersey since 2007. Waterproofing your basement is crucial to protecting the value of your home and the safety of your family. That is why we only employ the best, brightest, fully-certified experts, who will treat your home like it was their very own. Taking shortcuts just isn’t in our nature. We use innovative technology and time-tested techniques to discover and solve your basement’s water-related problems.
Because basement wall leaks and water seepage are often caused by structural issues, external waterproofing is required. While some companies only seal the interior walls of your basement, Healthy Way goes the extra mile to fix your water issues inside and out. That way, your basement leaks stop for good.
Once we find the root of the water issues in your basement, we will get to work on a custom-designed solution that will exceed your basement waterproofing needs.
Our basement waterproofing services in New Jersey help prevent the following problems:
- Mold growth, which can cause serious health hazards for your family
- Basement flooding
- Loss of valuables
- Serious water damage to your home’s walls and floors
- Decrease in home value
Don’t wait to address the moisture developing in your basement – call Healthy Way today for a customized solution to your water seepage problems.
What Causes Moisture in Your Basement?
It’s easy to spot water leaking through a crack in your basement, but most homeowners don’t know that there is a potential for water issues without heavy rains or obvious signs of standing water. At Healthy Way, we try to educate our clients on the real causes of water in your basement. Here are two of the most common reasons why you might need basement waterproofing in Roosevelt:
The “Clay Bowl” Effect
It might not be evident on the surface, but many basements are built in a below-grade dip, which is surrounded by backfill. Because backfill is made up of soil that was removed during foundation digging, it creates an empty shape or “bowl” effect. Once the foundation is finished, this loose soil is placed back around the foundation. Unfortunately, soil of this consistency is more absorbent and porous than the undisturbed soil around it, which is hard-packed and less porous. When rain or thunderstorms occurs, the soil closest to your home becomes saturated, putting pressure on your basement walls.
This kind of pressure affects homeowners with property built below the water table or on a hillside where water runs down a hill. When the soil around your foundation becomes saturated, it will expand and put intense pressure on the walls of your foundation and basement. This pressure can create cracks, giving water an easy route into your basement.
How Healthy Way Solves Your Basement Waterproofing Needs
Having a wet basement not only puts your health at risk, it lowers the value of your home and makes it more difficult to sell. The good news? We offer a number of waterproofing services and products to solve your problems fast. A few of our solutions include:
- Sump pumps
- Perimeter drainage systems
- Doorway drainage systems
- High-strength washer hoses
- Floor and wall crack repair
- Replacement windows
- Flood protection for your water heater
When you use Healthy Way for basement waterproofing in New Jersey, you can rest easy knowing that all our systems come with a written, lifetime warranty. This warranty is transferrable, meaning you can re-establish your home’s value and give future owners confidence knowing that their new home is protected.
The Healthy Way Basement Waterproofing Process
Because every home is different, your basement waterproofing solution could be vastly different than that of your next-door neighbor. Many factors play a part when it comes to keeping your basement dry and safe for living. As a general rule, we approach each issue with a “prevention over repair” mindset. By taking this stance, we give our clients a more cost-effective, long-term resolution. We’re not in the business of putting a “Band-Aid” on your water problem – we want to fix your issue completely, so you don’t have to worry about recurring problems. Our effective basement waterproofing systems include a mix of the following strategies:
Interior waterproofing methods usually start with our team ensuring that any holes or cracks in your basement floors, walls, and windows are sealed properly. Sealing cracks in your basement is an important first step since this is usually the first place where water can enter your home. Our sealants keep your basement dry and help prevent more moisture from finding its way into your home. Interior waterproofing strategies like these also help lower humidity levels in your basement. While sealants and other interior waterproofing strategies help correct initial issues, they don’t usually solve the underlying problem causing leaks in your basement. Those issues are most often found outside your home.
Once our team is finished with your interior waterproofing, we will move to the exterior of your home. Waterproofing the outside of your home is often a more complex, nuanced goal. Because of the difficult nature of exterior waterproofing, we recommend you consult with our team of professionals before tackling the job on your own. Generally speaking, our team beings the outdoor waterproofing process by excavating the soil around your home’s foundation. Once we remove the soil surrounding your foundation, our experts will apply a polymer-based sealant to any cracks we discover. This sealant is a long-term solution and should remain intact for the life of your home. While the Healthy Way team solves your outdoor moisture problems, we will also check your downspouts, to make sure they aren’t clogged. An inefficient gutter system does a poor job of directing water away from your home’s foundation, which can cause more moisture to seep into your basement over time.
One of the most common reasons that people need basement waterproofing in cityname is because they have a poor drainage system. A proper drainage system is paramount in keeping your basement dry and your family safe. These systems are meant to direct water away from your home and come in many forms, from French Drains to simple systems like ground soil. If you’re thinking of installing a complex drainage system, save yourself some time and check the soil around your foundation first to make sure it isn’t retaining moisture. If a more complex system like a sump pump is required, it’s best to work with certified professionals like those at Healthy Way, to make sure your drainage system is installed correctly.
WHICH WATERPROOFING SOLUTION IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Because every home is different, it’s hard to say what kind of waterproofing solution is right for your situation. Most homeowners require a combination of interior and exterior waterproofing. There are dozens of factors that come into play when it comes to waterproofing your home, so the answer to your problem may be different than your neighbor’s. The good news is that Healthy Way is fully equipped to handle whatever moisture issue you’re having. We will work tirelessly to make certain your basement is dry, mold-free, and safe to enjoy. That way, you can get back to living life rather than worrying about mold growth or foundation damage.Contact Us
GET IT DONE RIGHT, THE FIRST TIME
Other companies may offer temporary or partial solutions. At Healthy Way, we believe in correcting the problem completely, so you save money and have long-term peace of mind. Our goal is to fix your problem to prevent it from coming back, or we won’t do the work!
If you require quality basement waterproofing, it all starts with a FREE inspection from our certified waterproofing experts. We will take as much time as you need to find your problem, develop a solution, and walk you through our process step-by-step.
Don’t let water leaks and foundation damage create a dangerous environment in your home; contact the experts at Healthy Way today!
Latest News in Roosevelt
The Best Things to Do This Weekend in NJ, July 16-18
July 16 Manalapan Car Show, Concert and Fireworks Manalapan Recreation Center, Manalapan Friday, 6 PM – 10 PM Come enjoy an evening of classic cars and classic rock. The Crazy Eights will be performing hits from Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones and more. Make sure to bring a lawn chair for the fireworks show at the end of the night....
July 16 Manalapan Car Show, Concert and Fireworks Manalapan Recreation Center, Manalapan Friday, 6 PM – 10 PM Come enjoy an evening of classic cars and classic rock. The Crazy Eights will be performing hits from Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones and more. Make sure to bring a lawn chair for the fireworks show at the end of the night.
Summer Nights Series: 80’s DJ Dance Party with DJ Darius the 1st Princeton Shopping Center, Princeton Friday, 6 PM – 8 PM Get your groove on at this free 80’s style dance party hosted by the Princeton Library in partnership with the Princeton Shopping Center. Dress up in your raddest retro outfits and get ready to dance. There will also be a fun Pokemon card scavenger hunt.
Bubble Fest Hamilton Park, Jersey City Friday, 5 PM – 7 PM Grab a picnic blanket and head to Hamilton Park for some tasty food, live entertainment, cool activities and of course, bubbles! The festival is free and fun for the whole family.
Monster Jam MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford Saturday, 7 PM Monster Jam is back at full capacity! Come see trained drivers perform epic stunts in their monster trucks. Featured competitors include Gold Digger®, Soldier Fortune™, Bakugan Dragonoid™ and more. Pre-order your tickets and Pit Party pass on Ticketmaster.
Atlantic City Vegan Food Festival Showboat Hotel, Atlantic City Saturday, 12 PM – 8 PM ; Sunday, 12 PM – 5 PM The Atlantic City Vegan Food Fest is back on the Boardwalk this weekend outside of The Showboat. Enjoy two days of live music and over 100 vegan vendors serving up food and fun. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.
Songs and Stories of the American Revolution Washington Crossing State Park Visitor Center, Titusville Saturday, 2 PM – 5 PM Step back in time and listen to some incredible stories and songs from the Revolutionary Era performed by Matthew Dodd. Located at the historic Washington Crossing State Park, this outdoor concert is great for guests of all ages. Check out their website for directions or call (609) 737-0623 for more information.
Borough of Glass Art Walk and Night Market Glassboro Town Square, Glassboro Saturday, 5 PM – 10 PM Head down to the Glassboro Town Square and check out spectacular works of art created by local hand-crafters and artists. Guests are encouraged to interact with the artists and even try their hand at making something themselves. In addition to the vendors and live demonstrations, there will also be live music, food trucks and a beer garden.
Waterford Car Show and Family Fun Day Waterford Twp Municipal Building, Atco Saturday, 3 PM – 7 PM This event presented by the Waterford Township Civic And Events Association and High Octane will have lots of classic cars, food vendors and kids activities like face painting and inflatables.
Boardwalk Craft Show The Boardwalk at Rio Grande Avenue, Wildwood Saturday & Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM Come soak up the sun and check out this craft show on the world-famous Wildwood Boardwalk featuring original, handmade products. Admission is free.
Taco Palooza Food Truck Festival Washington Lake Park, Sewell Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM Calling all taco lovers! The Taco Palooza is taking place this Saturday at the municipal field in Sewell. There will be a wide variety of taco vendors, live music and activities for the kids. Admission is $5 for ages 5 and up and proceeds go to the Historic Chester Business Association. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Mid Summer Market Calgo Gardens, Freehold Saturday, 10 AM – 3PM Check out a variety of unique local vendors at the Mid Summer Market this Saturday. There will be organic produce, jewelry, bath products, beautiful flowers and more to purchase. This outdoor event is free.
Family Summer Fest V & V Adventure Farm, Shamong Saturday, 11 AM – 5 PM Grab the family and head over to V & V Adventure Farm for a day of fun. There will be over 40 local vendors showcasing handmade goods and plenty of kids activities. Cost of admission for kids is $10 and $5 for adults. Tickets are cash only at the door.
Art at the Park Duke Island Park, Bridgewater Sunday, 10 AM – 6:30 PM This event is all about showcasing the works of talented local artists and crafters. Guests will also receive paint and canvases to create their own art pieces and children can enter in their drawings for a chance to win a prize. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.
The Children’s Museum Presents: Let’s Get Going! Bridgewater Commons Mall, Bridgewater Sunday, 1 PM – 3 PM The Children’s Museum in partnership with Bridgewater Commons is hosting a fun and educational event all about transportation. There will be a variety of activities for kids to enjoy like making their own train car and decorating a conductor’s hat. The event is free and parents should RSVP on Eventbrite as walk-ins are limited.
Into the Woods Concert in the Park Roosevelt Park Theater, Edison Sunday, 6 PM – 7:30 PM Enjoy a free outdoor concert from the woodwind trio, Into the Woods! They will be performing “Bach to the Future”, classical music in a way that you have never heard before. Make sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate.
Signs point to new COVID restrictions coming in NJ
There are increasing signs from the Murphy administration that mask mandates and other restrictions could return to New Jersey by the Fall.The latest COVID metrics released by the New Jersey Department of health show the number of positive COVID tests are up by nearly two-thirds over the last month. The state also reported more than 300 new tests in a single day for the first time since the end of May.However, for persp...
There are increasing signs from the Murphy administration that mask mandates and other restrictions could return to New Jersey by the Fall.
The latest COVID metrics released by the New Jersey Department of health show the number of positive COVID tests are up by nearly two-thirds over the last month. The state also reported more than 300 new tests in a single day for the first time since the end of May.
However, for perspective, the state was reporting thousands of new positive PCR tests a year ago.
Still, with more than 5.12 million residents considered fully vaccinated, it is a trend that has alarmed state health officials and the metrics are moving in a direction that could allow Governor Phil Murphy to impose new mandates just as things return to normal in New Jersey.
When Murphy allowed his public health emergency declaration to expire, he cut a deal with the legislature that would restore his sweeping pandemic powers if the rate of transmission (r/t) rose above one and/or there was a spike in hospitalizations. While the r/t has risen to 1.08, indicating COVID-19 is again spreading in New Jersey, there has not been a spike in hospitalizations. Just 310 of the infected were hospitalized state wide as of Wednesday.
Murphy has, however, continued to warn that new restrictions could be coming if the metrics continue to trend upward and more New Jersey residents are not vaccinated. He has declared the pandemic over for those who have gotten their shots, but claims the COVID variant is spreading among the unvaccinated.
Variant infections have yet to peak
The former head of the FDA says the "worst is yet to come" with the COVID Delta variant. Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC he believes Delta will become the dominant strain, and wash over the country through the summer, peaking in "September, maybe into October."
Variants of the Variants
There is also a report that the COVID mutations are also no mutating. Most troubling in that category was a mutation of the Delta variant, known as Delta-plus. Delta-plus, Gottlieb says, is as highly contagious as the original Delta, but is also showing resistance to current vaccines.
Delta variant dominating NJ - here are signs you may have it
Gallery Credit: Jeff Deminski
Most of the time patients with the variant are more likely to be hospitalized, more likely to suffer complications and more likely to require oxygen.
Board of Education Holds End-of-Year Parade of Honors
WEST ORANGE, NJ — The June 21 end-of-year Board of Education meeting featured its semi-annual Parade of Honors recognitions for the notable achievements of staff and students.Superintendent Dr. Scott Cascone and Board of Education President Terry Trigg-Scales posed with recipients as certificates were distributed.The List of Recognitions is below.See all the photos here. (Note: Photo IDs can be found by clicking the ...
WEST ORANGE, NJ — The June 21 end-of-year Board of Education meeting featured its semi-annual Parade of Honors recognitions for the notable achievements of staff and students.
Superintendent Dr. Scott Cascone and Board of Education President Terry Trigg-Scales posed with recipients as certificates were distributed.
The List of Recognitions is below.
See all the photos here. (Note: Photo IDs can be found by clicking the information icon on each photo.)
West Orange Board of Education Parade of Honors, June 21, 2021
Rhianna Giuliano, Violet Kohlstein…………Outstanding Community Service Award … RMS Environmental Health
Natalia Feliz, Justin Lopez, Nicole Ng………Outstanding Creative Expression Award … LMS Passages Essay/Poem
Andree Celestin, Olivia Ridley…….…………Student Leadership Award …WOHS Board of Education Liaison
Soham Bhatnagar……………..................……Outstanding Community Service Award …WOHS Founder of Little Free Pantry
Anya Dillard ………………………….…………Student Leadership Award …….WOHS Student Council President
.........................................................…….….…Outstanding Community Service Award…WOHS Juneteenth, Black Lives Matter
Victoria Bratsos…………..............….…………Dylan Pennell Mountaineer Trailblazer Award ….WOHS Founder of SAMHA
Outstanding Community Service Award
Michael Kelly, D.O.
Margie Heller, RWJBarnabas Health
Anne Mernin, Toni’s Kitchen
Victor Garcia -- Washington
Skye Monahan -- Gregory
Patricia Gomes -- Redwood
Lee Sutton -- Liberty
Jennifer Craine -- St. Cloud
Fatou Mbaye --Hazel
Brooke Tippens -- WOHS
Mary Dunleavy -- Edison
Susan Pasquale -- Roosevelt
Katie Wilzig -- Mt. Pleasant
Laura Ramos -- Kelly
West Orange Special Education Parent Advisory Council [WOSEPAC]
Gina Velazquez, Chair
Nicole Ruffo, Education Chair
Christina DeMarco, Co-Chair
D\'Laisa Francis Abdullah, Events Chair
Amber Newsome, Treasurer
Deb Milstien, Web Chair
Ysaura Fernandez, Diversity Chair
Lisa Renwick, Secretary
District Nursing Staff
Kemi Aborisade -- Redwood
Linda Connolly Schoner -- BMELC
Jane Lewis -- Washington
Eleonora Ackerman -- Roosevelt
Rosalie Dudkiewicz -- Gregory
Denise Makri -Werzen -- WOHS
Patience Allotey -- Hazel
Nancy Feldman -- Kelly
Elizabeth Ramos -- Edison
Shena Brown -- St. Cloud
Brianna Grasso -- Mt. Pleasant
Rosemarie Tan -- Liberty
District Communications Team
Fil Santiago, Anthony Picinich, Jr., Rishi Ramchandani, Perry Bashkoff
District Equity & Access Committee [DEAC]
Cheryl Butler, Event de Mendez, Michael Figueiredo, Lionel Hush,
Kimya Jackson, Hillary Rubenstein, Stephanie Suriano
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Teacher of Science
Dr. Lesley Chung, Assistant Principal, WOHS
Dr. William Farley, Teacher of Vocal Music, WOHS
Dr. Jessica Nuzzi, Teacher of Math, WOHS
Lionel Hush, Principal, Roosevelt Middle School
Friday NJ weather: Elsa exits, then sun, then more thunderstorms
It has been a crazy morning so far across southern and coastal New Jersey. Top numbers so far: over 2.5 inches of rain (Mullica Twp, Atlantic Co), wind gusts up to 79 mph (Sea Isle City, Cape May Co), and up to 3 possible tornadoes (Somers Point, Tuckerton, and Mantoloking areas). Wow.I believe Elsa briefly made landfall in Cape May County around 3 a.m. Friday morning. As of 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Center put the center of circulation just three miles east of Brigantine, Atlantic County.Hopefully you\'re able to stay hun...
It has been a crazy morning so far across southern and coastal New Jersey. Top numbers so far: over 2.5 inches of rain (Mullica Twp, Atlantic Co), wind gusts up to 79 mph (Sea Isle City, Cape May Co), and up to 3 possible tornadoes (Somers Point, Tuckerton, and Mantoloking areas). Wow.
I believe Elsa briefly made landfall in Cape May County around 3 a.m. Friday morning. As of 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Center put the center of circulation just three miles east of Brigantine, Atlantic County.
Hopefully you\'re able to stay hunkered down and safe until the worst is done. Tropical Storm Warnings have started to be cancelled, as Elsa\'s center passes by. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect statewide.
Here\'s the best news I could possibly give: Elsa is flying to the northeast. Weather will continue to range from inclement to nasty through mid-morning Friday. And then conditions will improve quickly through this afternoon. However, an additional round of thunderstorms is expected later on.
The weekend features mixed news: Saturday looks good, while Sunday turns unsettled again. Another steamy summery warmup is ahead for next week.
As the heaviest band of rain and wind continues spreading north and west, the concerns of flash flooding and wind-driven power outages will continue spreading too.
So far, rainfall expectations have been very close to forecast (1 to 3 inches for all but NW NJ). There are some mesoscale models that show some pockets of really heavy rainfall - on the order of 4 or 5 inches. We\'ll have to see how that plays out as the tropical rain band reaches central and northern NJ - the ground is pretty saturated there, which could lead to fast flooding issues.
The wind speed and tornado potential has been slightly higher than I anticipated. It looks like the greatest such threat has passed at this point. Nevertheless, gusts to 40+ mph will remain possible, and another quick spin-up or two can\'t be ruled out.
Remember, Elsa\'s coastal impacts are minimal along the Jersey Shore. However, a high risk of rip currents and rough surf is posted for today. And we could still see tidal waterways rise up to a foot. (Some of those back bays have weird orientations, which can lead to unpredictable tide patterns.)
As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), we\'re already seeing drier skies in SW NJ. I think 10 a.m. will be the big turning point - that\'s when the rain and wind will largely be gone from the Garden State.
By Friday afternoon, I suspect we\'ll see substantial breaks of sunshine across New Jersey. It\'s still going to be a very warm and humid day, with high temperatures in the seasonable mid 80s.
In addition, an approaching cold front is forecast to fire off another round of scattered strong thunderstorms starting Friday late afternoon. (Totally unrelated to Elsa, by the way.) Once again, we\'ll be keeping eyes and ears on the sky for heavy rain, gusty winds, hail, and lightning.
This is the 4th day in a row with severe weather in the forecast. It could be the 4th day in a row with a Severe Thunderstorm Watch - that is pretty unusual.
The storm threat will wrap up by Midnight at the latest, and then skies will clear overnight. It will be warm and sticky, with lows dipping to around 70 degrees.
The nicest day in this forecast! Thanks to Friday evening\'s cold front, humidity levels should dial back a little bit. (Dew points drop to 60-ish, rather than lower 70s.)
With a mix of sun and clouds, high temperatures should hit lower 80s across most of the state Saturday afternoon. The only potential issue? An isolated shower may clip North Jersey at some point.
The morning should be comfortable, with temps in the 60s. But mostly cloudy skies and an ever-present chance of spotty showers from midday on with add a more unsettled feeling to the second half of the weekend. Temperatures will be warm, although below seasonal normals, near the 80-degree mark.
Warming up and storming up again. Lower to mid 80s on Monday. Mid to upper 80s on Tuesday. 90s return by Wednesday and Thursday. Each day could feature a few popup showers and thunderstorms.
Recalling the past to create a new future | Opinion
By Taneshia Nash LairdIt’s been over 80 years since New Jersey has seen projects funded by the WPA administration, the New Deal agency created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rescue the American economy. Yet, in Newark, a campaign is underway inspired by the themes of FDR’s Works Progress Administration. Why now? The 1930s saw the Great Depression, while now, in the 2020s we’re mending from the “Great Infection.”Our great-grandparents would have been familiar with the WPA. During t...
By Taneshia Nash Laird
It’s been over 80 years since New Jersey has seen projects funded by the WPA administration, the New Deal agency created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rescue the American economy. Yet, in Newark, a campaign is underway inspired by the themes of FDR’s Works Progress Administration. Why now? The 1930s saw the Great Depression, while now, in the 2020s we’re mending from the “Great Infection.”
Our great-grandparents would have been familiar with the WPA. During that distant time of crisis, the federal government assumed the leading role in funding local public works and infrastructure projects. In New Jersey that meant roads, armory buildings and even the construction of the Atlantic City Airport. While Washington might ultimately fund a bill that adheres to a limited definition of infrastructure, we should not ignore “soft infrastructure” — all the institutions for maintaining and enhancing the quality of urban life: education, health care and cultural/recreational facilities. Cultural assets, in particular, can be key drivers of a post-pandemic recovery.
As the pandemic wanes, people will find they cannot thrive in isolation; we are inherently social creatures. Thus, the recovery of New Jersey’s local economies will be measured by our ability to congregate in the enjoyment of urban life. The WPA recognized that notion, as it also employed thousands of artists, musicians, writers, actors and directors through its Federal Project Number One. That dual legacy inspires what is now happening at Newark Symphony Hall, which is in the midst of planning a major restoration.
To accomplish this, Symphony Hall is collaborating with a theatrical labor union to open pathways for local residents into stage production jobs. We will also serve as an incubator for homegrown talents — the future musicians, actors and playwrights who will continue the Newark legacy of artists like Sarah Vaughan and the award-winning writer Amiri Baraka. Just as Manhattan would be a mere fraction of itself without Carnegie Hall and its theatrical district; Newark will never truly be all that it should be without a thriving and restored Lincoln Park Arts District — with Symphony Hall as its anchor.
Those talent-incubation efforts will be coupled with a construction program that trains Newark residents in the historic preservation building trades. Consider this: New Jersey has an abundance of historic buildings —more so than many other states in the nation. Shouldn’t our citizens be trained in how to preserve those assets? We can make historic preservation a homegrown industry offering opportunities for local residents and businesses.
Both the aforementioned union and building trades partnerships are echoes of the WPA’s economic development formula, a strategy spearheaded by government support. Those dual partnerships will transform the ripple effects of the facility’s restoration into an inclusive exercise in economic development. Thus, Symphony Hall can contribute to the state’s innovation economy by using culture as an economic catalyst.
For nearly a century, Symphony Hall has enhanced lives in New Jersey as one of our state’s cultural treasures. It has been both stage and incubator for legendary New Jersey talents such as Frank Sinatra and Dionne Warwick. During its storied history, our 2,800 concert hall seats, in addition to the expansive Terrace Ballroom, have provided audiences for Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Tony Bennett and the Metropolitan Opera. Our capital campaign, which has both state funds and support from the private sector, will help restore the building to its former glory. We will, however, need more private-sector commitments to help us reach our goal and create an economic incubator.
Just six years ago, several leaders assembled by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to discuss an urban policy agenda — including then-Ambassador Phil Murphy — proposed the need for workforce investment programs, reclaiming the state’s role as an innovation economy, and developing infrastructure to leverage assets such as our proximity to New York. Sound familiar?
If model projects such as Newark Symphony Hall attract the capital they deserve, then six years from now another conference will laud the achievements of a modern WPA. And we would welcome that forum being held, recorded and broadcast from the renovated facilities at Newark Symphony Hall.
Taneshia Nash Laird is the president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall, a board member of the National Independent Venue Foundation and an advocate for the arts.
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