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60th Anniversary

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New Headquarters Unveiled at New NewBridge Campus

Wednesday, December 06, 2023
Pequannock officials join NewBridge in cutting the ribbon on the new headquarters

Pequannock Deputy Mayor Ryan Herd and Mayor David Kohle joined NewBridge Board of Trustees President Debbie King and CEO Michelle Borden in cutting the ribbon.

NewBridge Services unveiled its new headquarters in Pompton Plains, where the nonprofit provider of counseling, housing and education got its start 60 years ago. 

Fifty guests cheered Tuesday as NewBridge CEO Michelle Borden welcomed them to NewBridge’s new home. “I’m proud that we have established a NewBridge campus in the community where we were founded,” Borden said.

NewBridge purchased two buildings on Newark Pompton Turnpike, adjacent to NewBridge’s adult psychiatric day treatment program and its affordable apartments for adults with special needs. The NewBridge campus has six buildings in all.

NewBridge’s Roots

NewBridge Board of Trustees President Debbie King, whose father was one of the organization’s founders, said, “I think they would be very pleased to see the creation of our headquarters and campus keeping NewBridge’s roots in Pequannock Township where it all began.”

NewBridge opened its doors in December 1963 as the Pequannock Valley Mental Health Center in the former Pompton Plains library. Initially serving Pequannock and surrounding communities, the agency grew and evolved over the decades to meet emerging needs.

Today, NewBridge tackles some of society’s toughest issues, including mental illness, substance use, isolation, and homelessness. Each year, it helps thousands of children, adults and seniors in Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties, and beyond. NewBridge has service centers in Haskell, Parsippany, Pequannock and Sparta, operates five group homes, created 84 units of affordable housing, and provides support services that allow people with mental illness and older adults to live as independently as possible.

NewBridge hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for new HQ in Pompton Plains.

NewBridge CEO welcomes guests to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new headquarters.

Borden read a proclamation from U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill hand-delivered by her staff member, Georgia Turvey, and a commendation letter from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “NewBridge has served as a pillar of hope in the community and has changed countless lives,” Governor Murphy wrote.

 

 

Recalling 1963

Guest speaker W. Jay Wancyzk of the Pequannock Township Historical Society discussed the nascent shift in attitudes toward mental illness in 1963 on the national stage and locally. Wancyzk noted that President John F. Kennedy that year signed legislation for providing mental health care in the community and drastically reducing institutionalization of people with mental illness.

Debbie Burklow, daughter of NewBridge founder Herbert Irwin, with her husband Miles Burklow inside the new NewBridge headquarters.

In Pequannock, Pastor Donner B. Atwood of the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains, Municipal Court Judge Herbert Irwin, Mary Jane Kelly, Dr. Kurt Manrodt and Jim Ryan “had the vision to make treatment accessible within our six local communities,” Wancyzk said. The township allowed the nonprofit to use the former library next to the municipal building. Later, NewBridge had its headquarters on Evans Place but relocated to rental space so affordable housing could be built on the property.

NewBridge’s new headquarters once housed Irwin’s law office, Wancyzk noted. “I think he would be mighty pleased with this new connection.” Irwin’s daughter, Debbie Burklow, and her husband attended the event.

HQ Inauguration

Local historian W. Jay Wancyzk chats with retired NewBridge CEO Robert L. Parker.

Pequannock Mayor David Kohle congratulated NewBridge on its 60th anniversary and new headquarters. “It’s a pleasure to have you back in the center of town,” Kohle said. “We look forward to many, many more years of dedicated services to the resident of Pequannock and the surrounding areas from NewBridge.”

Kohle and Deputy Mayor Ryan Herd joined Borden and King in cutting the green ribbon in front of the new headquarters.

Guests then toured the building that will house administrative offices. The second building will be home to two programs, NewBridge SAIL (Senior Assistance for Independent Living) and Community Support Services, as well as the information technology department.

“This is huge! NewBridge, during its 60th anniversary, is making another clear statement for clients, for donors, for everyone to see that we are committed to this community,” NewBridge Trustee Patricia Lee said.

Robert L. Parker, who retired as NewBridge CEO in 2020, said the milestone bodes well for the longevity of the organization as it enters its seventh decade. “The most important thing is that NewBridge continue to provide services for people who are hurting,” he said.

NewBridge is selling commemorative bricks that will form a walkway at the new campus. Go to polarengraving.com/newbridgeservices to order. To see more photos from the ribbon-cutting ceremony, please visit our Facebook album here.

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