Education Center Q&A
glenrockarboretum.org for further information & pictures!
Who is building the Environmental Education Center? FOGRA (Friends of the Glen Rock Arboretum) is a
501(C)3 Non-Profit Organization responsible for maintaining & developing
the Thielke Arboretum. They conceived the idea about a decade ago and have been
planning / refining / fundraising / spreading the word since then.
What is the purpose of the Education Center? The
2 main functions of the center are below:
- Providing a learning focal point for visitors and
class trips. Starting your visit with an idea of “what’s out there & what
to look for” and a space to recap and reinforce what was seen at the end of a
visit promotes a strong learning experience and will greatly enhance the
enjoyment for students and regular visitors alike. Also – shelter in inclement
weather & bathrooms!
- On-site office & meeting space and restroom
facilities for the volunteers that work to maintain the arboretum. Volunteers spend
thousands of hours and come from all over Bergen County & beyond.
Currently, there are no bathrooms or facilities to wash up after working for
hours. There is no place to store the files, maps and reference materials used
What is the master plan (mission statement)? To
build a classroom in the woodlands and a gathering place for the community. The
center will take the arboretum into its next phase of use and enjoyment.
Who will own the building? The building is being paid
for by FOGRA and donated to the Boro.
Is this a Commercial Development? No. This misleading term
insinuates the facility will be used as a new banquet center or party facility
and/or retail store.
The term “commercial establishment”
means an establishment used for commercial purposes, such as bars, restaurants,
private offices, fitness clubs, oil rigs, retail stores, banks and financial
institutions, supermarkets, auto and boat dealerships, and other
What is the size of the building? The building will be 1,750ft2 or cover
.00365 of the land in the arboretum (under 4/10 of
Is this a wetlands / protected area?NO. The area is neither a wetlands nor a transition
area. Maps of the proposed location are available at glenrockarboretum.org/Pages/FEMAMaps.aspx
Will pay for design & construction
with private donations
Electric & water are estimated
(conservatively) at $500/month
Will continue paying for Directors
& Officers Liability
The arboretum will remain under the Boro Liability Umbrella, as
all town facilities are
Will pay for technology, computers,
internet access, etc.
Chairs & Desks
Will outfit the facility, inside &
Will set aside $2,000 per year in
reserve to cover expenses
Will be responsible for daily cleaning
Will pay for security systems
Volunteers led by FOGRA will staff the
How long will construction take? 3-4 months from start
Is there a construction performance bond? Yes.
The construction performance bond will be purchased by the contractor and has
been allowed for in our cost estimates.
How much will the project cost? Our current estimate
is $638,000, developed with 3 architectural firms and a leading panelized
construction firm, the town Engineer, reviewed by multiple contractors. We have
been lowering the cost with trade donations and better pricing on some
Is that a
lot for a 1,750ft2 building? Yes. The design
incorporates high quality materials like cellulose insulation (85% recycled, no
outgassing, great R-Value & low embodied energy) with 2% of
the energy that is used for foam and 10% of that for
fiberglass. The budget includes an ADA Compliant design, and public buildings
are required to follow ‘Prevailing Wage’ rules, which impacts labor rates for
Will the building and site be ADA compliant? Yes,
the building was designed compliant and all requirements for compliance are in
Who handles use requests? As it has been, FOGRA
will control use via our agreement/lease with the borough but anyone can use
the arboretum if they agree to the terms of our Use Agreement (similar to other
Arboretum contracts). This Use Agreement has been in place for years, there’s
How many visitors monthly? Once fully
operational visitors should average 200-400 per month (excluding events &
the thousands of volunteer hours already spent there each year to maintain and
beautify the arboretum).
Who will run the classes and summer camp? Volunteers
run all programs.
How many bathrooms and stalls? Two unisex restrooms. One
is handicap accessible.
Will there be any selling of goods or services on site? There
is no Gift Shop. The closest we’d get to a commercial enterprise is to sell
baked goods at a fishing derby, etc.
Will residents & family have to pay fees? No,
there will not be a fee to visit the Education Center. There will be a nominal
fee to hold an event, and there may be a donation box.
Will applications be made to zoning board? The
town will handle zoning issues because it’s on town property.
Will the Mayor and council members be permanent members of Arboretum
Board of Governors? No, we will continue to report to the council as we always
Will future revenue be given to Glen Rock? No.
This is not a revenue generating facility. It is designed to be a place for
learning, inspiration, and support to the many visitors to the arboretum.
Additional funds would be placed in the repairs reserve and to maintain and
support the arboretum.
Has there been an environmental impact study? No.
This building will cover .00365 of the land in the arboretum (under 4/10 of
1%). The building will follow LEEDS (Leadership in Environmental and Energy
Design) standards. These comprehensive design and construction standards help
assure that there is minimal impact in all areas of design and construction.
This building will have minimal impact.
Has there been a traffic impact study? No.
This building will have far fewer visitors than, for example,
the pool next door. Our prime visitor traffic is expected to be during the
school year (September – November, and February – June), and during school
hours. It is expected that school groups would park in the pool lot. We can’t accept
large groups, as we try to provide Docents for every 6-8 children – we just
don’t have that many available volunteers.
How will police / fire / waste collection access the building if
it is in the arboretum? The building will have
about the same setback off Doremus as your home. Access is not an issue.