Message from the President and CEO

From the desk of JCC CEO, Saul Levenshus: If we build it, will they come?
 
Published Saturday, September 1, 2018
by Saul F. Levenshus, President/CEO

I wanted to take a moment and thank all of our JCC members that were able to participate in the series of focus group meetings (7 sessions for a total of 49 participants) that were held during the week of July 16-20, to help us collect feedback and reactions to our anticipated facility expansion project. For more than a decade, the JCC has been challenged to meet the needs of our members with some significant space limitations. This new project would add an additional 16,000 square feet to the building along with plans to potentially develop remaining Campus acreage that would accommodate expansion of our athletic fields, creating more activity for youth and adults.

Much to our satisfaction, the response from 100% of the participants was favorable, enthusiastic, and supportive. More importantly, we learned, for the most part, that we are very much in tune with member needs and we also learned what else we should consider before we proceed to the next stage.

Some of the project highlights include:

  • Our lower level expansion is designed to meet the increasing demand for individual and group fitness services with an additional 1500 square feet for the existing fitness center and four (4) new dedicated studios to accommodate an expanded schedule of group exercise programs.
  • In response to feedback from families with young children, four new initiatives have received a very favorable reaction including a drop-in indoor play space, a family changing space, and a new splash pad out by the pool. A larger and more accessible interim childcare (babysitting) space is also proposed.
  • The Vexler Theatre will also undergo a major facelift 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.
  • A new and expanded Senior Center on the main level is being proposed 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 unique enrichment opportunities and may include a cooking demonstration lab, a ceramics and art studio, and access to new technologies including laptop computers and iPad’s. In addition, a large living space will accommodate daily drop in socialization activities including, but not limited, to mah jongg, bridge, and other card and table games.

A second round of focus group meetings is anticipated for the week of October 8-12, to provide additional opportunities for us to share plans for this upcoming expansion. Visit our website to view the focus group schedule and select the date and time that works best for you.

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

An additional opportunity to view renderings and to provide feedback will also be available for those unable to attend any of the focus group meetings in a town hall meeting format, which is being planned for the early Fall. This meeting will allow us to continue to share feedback collected, provide updates on next steps, and to introduce plans for the capital campaign that will fund the cost of the project. 

For more information regarding focus group meetings or plans for the proposed expansion project, please contact Saul Levenshus JCC CEO at 210-302-6823.


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