by Judy Alperin, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
Work on our Jewish community building continued over the summer with major strides made with regard to the vetting and hiring of an architect and construction management firm—Svigals & Partners and PAC Group, respectively.
The Svigals team brings a broad range of experience to the JCC project. The firm addressed security concerns while designing the new Sandy Hook Elementary School and they have designed educational spaces at Temple Israel in Westport and the Goodwin Early Childhood Magnet in East Hartford, renovated cultural arts spaces like the Little Theater in New Haven and designed the Yale New Haven Hospital, LivingWell Center in New Haven. The PAC Group has been managing the ongoing renovations at the Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford in recent years.
The Jewish Federation Board met in special sessions twice over the summer months to hear the Building Steering Committee’s recommendations for enhancements based on the many focus groups and surveys conducted.
Their focus was on how to create spaces that would support the main goal of program expansion and the revitalization of the building as a community hub. At the same time, programming departments are working to develop spokes that will emanate from the hub to increase programs and services across the region.
Excitement is building around the creation of a STEAM center (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math) that will provide hands-on learning opportunities and a maker space for all ages. This will enhance the curriculum for our youngest at Yeladim through our seniors.
There’s lots of creative brainstorming happening with regard to our recreational activities, gymnasium and fitness programs. We expect to offer a multitude of new programs this winter.
The fitness center and café areas will receive a complete makeover and redesign. And Yeladim is beginning the year in brand new classrooms after undergoing a complete refresh this summer with new flooring, cabinetry, shelving and fresh paint.
This winter, the Jewish community campus will fully reopen with enhanced security features including a centralized security desk to enable a monitored member and guest engagement, security cameras, shatterproof windows, remote locking doors on classrooms and a zoned alarm system.
The Jewish community building’s enhanced campus will meet the demand for enriched programming, strengthen senior adult activities, increase dynamic Jewish education opportunities and enhance collaboration with Jewish community partners, all to expand the gateways to Jewish life. For the latest news on the project, go to: jccnh.org/updates.