Fifteen months after the ceremonial groundbreaking and nearly three years after work began, the St. Paul JCC’s much-anticipated addition and renovation will open to the public at the Sept. 30 Grand Re-Opening Celebration.
The event, from noon-3 p.m., is offering tours of the new building, as well as food trucks, theater performances, music, demonstrations, games & fun for the entire family, and more. The grand re-opening is part of the St. Paul Jewish Community Sukkot Festival, organized by the St. Paul Jewish Federation
“We’re so excited to have such a beautiful new space to call home, and to become even more of a hub of activity for the Highland neighborhood, the City of St. Paul and the metro area,” said Michael Waldman, CEO of the St. Paul JCC. “For 50 years, our JCC has stood on St. Paul Avenue as the heart and hub of our community. The new building and amenities enable us to provide the resources and programs that the community and our members value so highly, as well as expand our offerings for now and for the future.”
Highlights of the new space include:
- A Creative Arts Wing with five art and music studios, several multi-purpose rooms, a dance studio and more.
- A state-of-the-art Fitness Center with best-in-class equipment, four studio rooms for classes and activities, enhanced offerings including cycling and Pilates, space for stretching, cardio and c training and more.
- An indoor, all-season Aquatics Center featuring a 25-yard lap pool with a deep end, a family-friendly recreation pool, a water slide, an on-deck whirlpool tub, a comfortable viewing room, and various play and spray features.
- Locker rooms for men, women and families featuring showers, saunas, steam rooms and more.
- A dedicated gallery exhibition space to showcase works by local and international artists
- A modern performing arts center, with 250+ comfortable seats that are sloped for excellent sight lines, that will host JCC and community events.
- A bright, welcoming, secure main entrance.
- A fully-functional ticket booth, and lobby space to support the JCC’s varied programs and events.
The Fitness Center opened in April as work commenced on the main entrance and cultural arts wing. Waldman said that since December, membership is up about 600 individuals and families since December, which he said is a demonstration of the community’s support and excitement. “We still have cranes in the lot every day,” he said. “It doesn’t look like we’re open!”
Robyn Awend, the Twin Cities Jewish Cultural Arts Director for both the St. Paul and Sabes JCCs, said the new wing is a testament to the community. “It shows the JCC’s commitment to the arts and allows so much more programming to take place,” she said.
The new gallery space has hosted three exhibitions since opening in the spring. “These beautiful new spaces compliment the level of programming we’re doing,” Awend said. “It allows you to think differently. With any new space, it is exciting and inspires a new way of doing things.”
The reimagined St. Paul JCC could not have been possible without the overwhelming generosity and support from the community. “We sincerely appreciate everyone who helped make this a reality,” said Michael Waldman. “Our future is here.”