The pace of change at our busy construction site has reached a new level of intensity as virtually all of our sub-trades have brought in extra resources in order for planned preparatory work to be substantially complete before the High Holy Days.
The crew installing our new elevator has an estimated two weeks of work still ahead of them but they continue to expect that if all goes according to plan we’ll be able to commission the elevator just before the holidays. Our electricians are putting the final touches on our new fire control system. Our new, walk-in refrigerator/freezer is being assembled in its new location on the west side of the lower kitchen. Our drywall crew is busy finishing off the new men’s and women’s washrooms off the Philip Smith Hall, including the construction of an accessibility ramp. They are also turning their attention to building the vestibules for the elevator.
The new staircase, extending down to the lower level from the school foyer on the north side of the building, will likely not be in place until after the holidays are over, but please be assured we will have appropriate access and exit routes in place throughout.
You may have recently seen some disruption in the Ava Road parking lot. Last week we discovered two old, no longer used, underground oil storage tanks that date back to 1937 and 1960, respectively. Consistent with our Holy Blossom values, we decided to remove them right away, so as to ensure that the site is completely clean. We anticipate that this work will be completed before the holidays, but it is possible that the final re-paving of the parking lot might not be finished until after Rosh Hashanah.
As our President Joan Garson wrote in her recent letter, you will most definitely NOT have to trade your kippah for a construction helmet when you join us for the High Holy Days. As a reminder, we’ll have full use of our Main Sanctuary, Eisendrath Auditorium and Philip Smith Hall. While we will have reduced space in the Philip Smith Foyer and the Enkin Boardroom, our rabbinic/cantorial team and our lay leaders have been working very hard to schedule available spaces for all services and programs. And, not to worry … there will be appropriate wayfinding signage as we do our best to ensure that your experience during these upcoming High Holy Days is a positive and memorable one.