Military Hands Over Nike Site to Collier
Township plans to turn the 72-acre base into a sprawling community park.
Collier Township officially owns the 72-acre Nike Site military base.
Township commissioners voted Wednesday night to formally take over the military installation, now named Collier Community Park, more than six years after the federal Base Realignment and Closure commission decided to shutter the missile base.
The township has spent the past few years deciding how to use the base to benefit the community.
“That was a lot of effort,” board President Bob Schuler said after the unanimous vote to accept the property. “Many hours were spent. It has been a labor of love, and it feels good.”
The township first had to decide how to use the property and then what steps would be needed to implement that plan. The former Charles E. Kelly Support Facility will now become a community park with baseball and soccer fields, an amphitheater, fitness center and community hub.
“I couldn’t believe how long the process was,” Commissioner Kay Downey-Clarke said while laughing. “It was a long process.”
Chris Abbett, the assistant regional director of the federal Department of the Interior, notified the township of the official transaction in a letter on Sept. 14. He wrote that the base would become “an outstanding addition to Collier Township’s park system.” The township’s biggest park now is just five acres.
That was welcome news to the commissioners, who were eager to take control of the property and start making renovations. The outdated utility system, which was built in the 1950s and never had to meet code, will cost about $750,000 to upgrade.
“It’s a big job,” Schuler said, “but it’s worth it.”
The post-exchange and barber shop will remain on the property until a new commissary is built in Moon Township.