A Message From the President/CEO Saul F. Levenshus

Posted by: Saul F. Levenshus, President/CEO on Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Saul F. LevenshusMore than 10 years ago, the JCC initiated an effort to expand our facilities in response to the need for more space, and to remain competitive with the ever-emerging fitness market. The original expansion plan called for an increase in space for the fitness center and more space to accommodate the growth in our group exercise programs, along with a series of facility upgrades that would help address many of our longterm goals to better serve our members and guests. However, the economic downturn in 2008 prevented us from making these major strides to get ahead of the curve and overcome the challenges of an aging facility.

Fast forward to today…I am pleased to announce that plans are once again underway to begin to address many of the same needs that originally emerged in 2007. The new expansion plans are designed to provide an increase of nearly 1/3 of the current fitness center floor space, an addition of 2000 square feet.

In addition, 4 new dedicated group exercise studios will provide a consistent home for virtually every group fitness program offered each week, and allow for the addition of several new class offerings. A larger and more accessible interim childcare (babysitting) space is also proposed.

As an additional attraction for young families, a new splash pad at the pool complex is also proposed as well as a family changing space, which will be added to accommodate families with young children, allowing them to dress in privacy on their way to and from the pool, without having to go through the locker rooms.

In an effort to serve a larger segment of young families looking for youth sports options that teach skills, healthy competition, and encourages participation and fun, an expansion of the current Ballfields is also being explored. In addition to providing more space, the new fields are designed to offer multiple sports options for both youth and adults. The new proposed park will have space for soccer/football, softball/baseball, as well as a walking/jogging trail, bathroom facilities, and more parking.

A new and expanded Senior Center is also being proposed on the main level that will provide easy access and space for a variety of new activities for adults as they age. New facilities being proposed will generate a series of new enrichment opportunities and will include a cooking demonstration lab, a ceramics and art studio, and access to new technologies, including laptop computers and iPads. In addition, a large living space will accommodate daily drop-in socialization activities, including but not limited to, mah jong, bridge and other card games, and more.

The Sheldon Vexler Theatre will also undergo a major face lift, providing several long-awaited amenities, including a dedicated lobby with men’s and women’s bathrooms, a new entrance and ticket office, new patron seating, and upgraded dressing areas for our outstanding team of actors.

Finally, a number of other improvements are also under consideration to upgrade current Campus facilities that will allow the JCC and its partner agencies, the Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Service, to expand and simultaneously upgrade and improve their facilities to also better serve their clients and our community.

Development of Outdoor Recreation Options 

Expanded Fitness Center and Studio Space

The Sheldon Vexler Theatre - Lobby Area

Campus Expansion Planning Focus Group Meetings to be held this month

A series of focus group meetings will be held the week of July 16-20 to introduce plans for an upcoming expansion to benefit the Campus tenant agencies: the Barshop JCC, the Jewish Federation and Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Jewish Family Service.

Individuals are encouraged to attend at least one of the meetings listed below, which are scheduled to last approximately 60 minutes. Opportunities will be available to ask questions about possible expansion initiatives and to provide input.

The meetings will be held at the following days/times: 

  • Monday July 16 at 9:30 am, 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 8:30 am, 12 pm, and 7 pm
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30 am, 9 am, and 6 pm
  • Thursday, July 19 at 8 am, 10 am, and 5 pm
  • Friday July 20 at 8 am and 12 pm 

RSVPs for the focus group meetings are being accepted online here or by calling our focus group hotline at 210-302-6923.  We encourage you to make time to let us know what you think. Your cooperation and support is essential.

Opportunities to view renderings and to provide feedback will still be available for anyone unable to attend this first round of scheduled focus groups. Additional focus groups in August and September are under consideration and more details will be made available in the coming weeks.

A town hall meeting is also planned for the early Fall to share feedback collected and to provide updates on next steps. 

For more information contact Saul Levenshus, JCC/CEO at 210-302-6823.


I am a JCC member and live very close by, but work in Kerrville and will not be able to attend the focus meetings. I would very much like to see the swimming pool doubled in size. I stopped swimming because I was too slow for the others and was harshly criticized for getting in everyone else's way. I used to be a good swimmer but am now a disabled US Army veteran and do my best...
Posted by: Linda Stone on July 3, 2018 at 8:57:36 pm

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