During last winter (yes, that winter – the one that threatened never to end) we reported the very good news that our architects and Building Committee had found a solution that would allow our current school wing (including the Philip Smith Congregational Hall) to remain operational and accessible during Phase 1 construction of the Renewal Project – targeted to begin in the period after the coming High Holy Days, Autumn 2014. For all the exciting highlights of our Phase 1 construction, including our magnificent Central Atrium please see the letter posted here.
Now we’d like to share a more detailed view of what that means, with our new Transition Plan Schematic Drawings. These drawings graphically detail how we plan to utilize our available space in the school wing during our anticipated 18 months of Phase 1 construction.
Please do take the time to study them. Some of the highlights include:
- The Philip Smith will continue to be available to our congregation as a multi-use facility, including family simchas. (However its foyer, directly beneath the new Atrium, will not be.) There will be a new entrance to our campus and the Philip Smith, from the Ava Rd. parking lot – as shown on Level 1 of the Transition Drawings.
- The 3rd floor Youth Chapel will remain open for Family Services, and can be used as an alternate location for weekday morning services.
- The Main Sanctuary will remain open for Congregational Shabbat Services (and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs) throughout the entire construction period.
- These locations, as well as the Herman Chapel (off the Main Sanctuary), will be wheelchair accessible. There will also be wheelchair accessible washrooms available on campus.
- Our Clergy offices and key Temple administration functions will remain on campus, temporarily relocated to space within the school wing.
- Our Monday and Wednesday School programs will continue to operate in the current school wing. The only element of our programming that will not remain on site is our Sunday School. These classrooms will be relocated in a convenient nearby facility. Look for more information to come on this from our school administrators, as soon as the details have been finalized.
Of course, we’ll need to do a little work to the school wing to accommodate these changes. Look for that preparatory work to begin during late summer.
Clearly, life at Holy Blossom will be a little different through the construction period, but we know this is a far better and more cost effective solution than moving off-site. We hope that our hard work and careful planning will result in as little change as possible to your daily experience as a member of our temple community, as we look forward to our exciting new campus.
If you have any questions or comments, our new Renewal FAQ section can be found at www.holyblossom.org/renewal-project-faqs. If you have a question that hasn’t been covered, please reach out to us at [email protected]. Our committee members or Temple staff will follow up promptly, with the most up to date information available.