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New LGW Center Coming Soon

Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center will benefit over 1,300 vulnerable families starting in 2022

The Legion of Good Will is about to open a new location in the Ironbound District, in Newark, New Jersey. With the support of numerous donors, partners, and volunteers, the LGW is performing an extreme makeover and expansion of the property located on 138-140 Pacific Street, soon to become the new Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center. The project will benefit more than 1,300 families in need every year with affordable child care, before and after-school programs, as well as an on-premise kitchen and community center. The construction is entering its final stage and is expected to be completed by Spring 2022. 

2017 - How it all started

Abandoned for almost 20 years, the 3,000 square foot building was a blight on the community. The LGW acquired the property in 2017 aiming to renovate and expand it, to provide reliable care and quality education for children, and social assistance services for vulnerable families while helping to revitalize the neighborhood. The City of Newark approved the architectural project in 2018 and gave the LGW and its amazing supporters the green light to start the transformation.

2019 - Preparing the Foundation

Groundbreaking in 2019, the construction started with the excavation of the existing basement to expand the new center’s capacity, while bringing it up to code. The adjacent land was also excavated to make room for a new annex, which expanded the property from 3,000 to 7,000 square feet of usable space.

Foundation, underpinning, concrete slabs, and waterproofing of the basement were next. An entire reframing on wood and blocks of the existing building was required to adapt for the new use as well as building the addition. The old building's roof was completely redone and a new flat roof over the annex made room for a new terrace. 

Water, gas and sewer installations required cutting through pavement to properly bring services into the building. Two storm tanks were installed in the backyard to increase safety against flooding, common in the Ironbound area. Solid concrete walls were raised to protect the playground area. Damaged sidewalks around the property were completely renovated to improve safety and accessibility.

2020 - Building the new project

In order to meet state code, we created several means of egress with new exits and staircases all around the three-story building and started remodeling the interior to host a state-of-the-art early learning center. To allow for abundance of natural light in the space, 34 brand new windows were installed, far beyond the transparency rates required by code. Outside, the entire new siding was installed on the with brand new donated hardy planks and stucco. To provide necessary shelter from the elements, the marquee also received waterproofing treatment at this stage.

In order to make the basement suitable for community activities, it required significant renovation to increase the floor-to-ceiling height from six to nine feet. Due to the kitchen hood, builders had to dig down the ground and lay new concrete slabs in addition to raising the substantial weight of the major iron beam of the building. These measures enabled an expansion of more than 2,500 square feet for an industrial kitchen and community services spaces.

Among the fire protection measures put into place, the building was entirely covered by a comprehensive sprinkler system. 

2021 - Rough inspection and finishing

New important advancements include the installation of railings on stairs, ramps and terrace, as well as gates, which brought the exterior of the property close to finished.

2021 was an important year to complete and pass strict inspections on rough installations for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire systems and building. We then turned our attention to the interior finishes: insulation, sheetrock, prime painting, metal and wood interior doors, glass inserts, trimming, tiles, and flooring.

2022 - What's next

  • Lighting and plumbing fixtures.
  • Fire alarm system completion.
  • Network and surveillance system equipment and installation.
  • Industrial kitchen equipment, appliances, cookware, utensils, cabinets, and furniture.
  • Dumb waiter (elevator) to transport meals from the kitchen in the basement to the classrooms located on the above floors.
  • Exterior landscaping and playground.
  • Daycare furniture including cribs, changing stations, cots, mats, chairs, desks, cubbies, learning stations, educational toys and books.

We rely on the support of our donors, volunteers and partners to complete this massive construction project in time to celebrate the 82nd birthday of LGW's President Paiva Netto, on March 2nd.

Our goal is to finish construction, pass final inspections, and obtain licenses to start offering our new programs and services by the Summer. 

How you can help:

  • To make a tax-deductible donation online, visit
  • To donate materials, furniture, equipments or volunteer at the construction site, email
  • Take a moment to share this article and spread the news to other people who can help us make this come true.