A message from the Edmonton JCC Renovation Committee, Jewish Federation of Edmonton

by Karen Leibovici and Lisa Miller

(Edmonton) – “Measure twice, cut once.” It’s a common phrase used around construction sites, and one that the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) renovation committee takes to heart.

It’s all about the planning NOW, so that we are not issuing expensive change works orders later. As chair and vice-chair of the renovation committee, we realize the importance of this project to our Jewish community, particularly in the current world climate.

The Jewish community of Edmonton officially purchased the former Scouts Canada building in January 2024. It may be January 2025 before you see any tangible difference to the site, and that is because we believe that doing extensive research and planning for this project first will be the most prudent way to move ahead.

As we develop this blank canvas of a building, the committee has taken the following behind-the-scenes steps. We have hired a project manager to oversee the steps we are taking. We have begun discussions with user groups that will be a part of this community centre. In March, we submitted a development permit application to the City of Edmonton, a major first step in overhauling the building.

In April, we sent out requests for proposals to half a dozen local architect firms and plan to have a firm in place by June. The architects will then consult further with community organizations and individuals to ensure that we plan out a centre that fits everyone’s needs.

The way we use the space will then determine the not so glamorous parts of the renovation, including the heating, air conditioning, venting (HVAC), electrical, and plumbing. Then we will order the big-ticket items such as HVAC and the elevator, and wait for the supply chain to deliver.

While rolling out that part of the process, the committee and Federation staff continue researching grant monies that could help enhance this project.

We know we want to create a Jewish communal space. It’s a gathering place for young and old alike. It will be the hub for many Federation programs and those organized by Edmonton’s Jewish organizations. A central address for the staff and organizations that help keep Jewish Edmonton going.

The JCC renovation committee will update the community on the progress of the project regularly and plan to have some open houses along the way. We believe that communication is a key to ensuring that this project is a success and we would welcome comments and input.

Please reach out by emailing info@edjfed.org.

Karen Leibovici is chair and Lisa Miller is vice-chair of the Edmonton JCC Renovation Committee.


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