Built for The Friendship Circle, according to Hollister one of the fastest growing nonprofit organizations for children with special needs, the new 53,000-square-foot, two-level complex features a wide range of amenities.
The state-of-the-art facility on Microlab Road features recreational, therapeutic and educational space catering to the special needs community. LifeTown provides participants with a black box theater, a three-lane bowling alley and a gymnasium.
It also houses an aquatic center with a therapy pool, a teaching kitchen, tactile rooms designed to stimulate the senses and will provide leadership training facilities for families and the community at large.
Standing in the center of LIfeTown is an 11,000-square-foot simulated Main Street, known as Life Village.
Life Village features storefronts including a bank and florist, food and book store, a salon, pet shop, a health care facility, synagogue and cafe. With traffic lights and other elements of a downtown street, Life Village is intended to teach children the skills to navigate, work and be engaged in a real-life setting.
A therapeutic play center that resembles an outdoor park with a gated entrance, trees, benches, swings, slides and a rock-climbing wall is a key feature of LifeTown and very popular with the children, Hollister said.
The community celebrated its groundbreaking with 800 people gathering as Friendship Circle families laid the cornerstone of the new center. The event was marked with activities for families, speeches and the chance to help pour cement for the new one-of-a-kind facility.
Hollister partnered with The Friendship Circle, NFL Foundation, New York Jets, United Way of New Jersey and NRG to host a Hometown Huddle to inaugurate a 24,000-square-foot turf field at LifeTown. It serves LifeTown’s Flag Football league which includes teams from special education schools from throughout the area.