I heard there is going to be construction on the Leventhal-Sidman building. If so, what is happening?
Yes! The JCC began its journey in this building 35 years ago and this renovation will allow us to improve our building to meet today’s needs. We’ve heard that you are looking for updated, clean and modern facilities and we think you’ll be thrilled with the end result - upgraded fitness spaces, new locker rooms with spa-like experiences for adults and separate spaces for children and those that need private changing spaces. Also, we’ll consolidate spaces for children into a bright new family resource wing that makes it easier for parents, grandparents, caregivers, Godine educators and everyone who is in the building with young children.
What is the timeline for construction?
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2018 and finish in Fall 2018.
What will be open and closed during construction?
The Godine Early Learning Center, the health and fitness wing, the basketball gym, children's gym, and the indoor and outdoor pools will be open throughout the construction period. Gan Teva, our new outdoor play space will also be open. The main impact will be in the locker room area. The current locker rooms will not be accessible during construction. Temporary facilities will be set up for showering and changing.
Indoor gym play and enrichment classes will still be held, as scheduled.
Will morning and afternoon pick up and drop off change?
It’s important to us that Godine families can easily access the building each day, and the ELC Godine parking spaces will remain dedicated to the preschool. Boker Tov will still be offered during the school year as it is now. Most days the parking lot and building entrance will remain unaffected. You may see construction vehicles in the parking lot near the loading dock, and there may be certain days that traffic patterns differ. Weekly emails, sharing construction information, will be a part of our communication plan to ensure that families have the information you need.
Who is the construction company?
We have specifically chosen our construction company, Elaine Construction, as they have experience renovating buildings within the Jewish community and have worked in our building before.
Our architect, Fabiano Designs, also specializes in community centers and fitness centers, and offers great experience in designing spaces that work for adults and children.
Will there be an increased number of strangers in the building during construction?
The construction of the addition will be self-contained and will prevent workers from crossing into the rest of the JCC building from the construction zone. Construction workers will be screened by Elaine Construction and will wear proper identification.
All visitors to other parts of the building will need to go through the front desk security, and show ID, just as they do now.
We have specifically chosen our construction company, Elaine Construction, as they have experience renovating buildings within the Jewish community and are sensitive to security needs. We will be working closely with them to make sure we are adopting all necessary procedures to keep your children and the building safe and secure.
In addition, the JCC always brings on additional security staff every summer to ensure the safety of our Godine summer program and our Camp Kaleidoscope campers as they use the campus.
Is there any change to fire drills or emergency procedures during construction?
Will it be safe for the children to be in the fitness side of the building during construction?
Safety is our top priority. All of the spaces to which children and teachers have access, such as the gyms or pools, will be safe when open for use. Remember, most of this construction is at the locker room level, which is not frequently used by preschool children during the summer.
What will my child see and experience during construction?
Construction is exciting for young children (and all of us) and though children will not have access to actual construction locations, we know that the project will generate great discussions. For example, children will see construction vehicles or workers in hard-hats on their walks to the outdoor pool, and the West Lawn may look a little different to accommodate the new changing trailers. Godine educators will be alert to teachable moments.
What steps are you taking to make sure the kids aren’t disturbed during nap/quiet time by noisy tools and loud trucks?
The Godine side of the building should remain quiet. Because of the distance between Godine and the fitness side, where construction is taking place, we don’t anticipate any noise affecting nap time. We’ll monitor this as the project progresses.
Will there be increased dust or air quality concerns during construction?
We will be able to seal off the area for the locker room and gym renovation and don’t foresee any dust or material debris visible to Godine children. Our contractor feels we will be able to minimize exposure to any dust from demolition and to adhesives or solvents used during renovation.
Although we don’t anticipate the need for it, the contractor will let us know if there are days that will be particular dusty or hard-to-contain. In that case, we will put up additional barriers and keep children away from the area until things go back to normal.
The indoor pool ventilation system is completely separate from the locker room and hallway systems, and barriers will be in place to control migration of dust from the locker rooms to the pool area.
Are there any hazardous materials being used during construction?
The renovation area is fairly well removed from Godine, the lobby, the lawn and our playground, Gan Teva, so we don’t anticipate any hazardous exposure for children or members during the project.
We also completed an environmental study, so we know that we will not dig up anything dangerous in or under the soil during excavation work.
What materials will be used in the finished spaces?
We have a Design Committee, including representatives from staff and parents, who are working with the architect to select finishes that will make our spaces both beautiful and practical. You’ll see an increase in use of wood, natural colors and contemporary patterns, all chosen for durability and safety with child and adult users in mind.
When the new space opens, will there be a strong odor of new paint, furnishings, flooring and carpeting?
Just as we do when we buy new equipment at Godine, we will allow a period for off-gassing of mats, paints, flooring and furnishings so that the area is fresh and safe before we open for use in each area. (Sunlight accelerates off-gassing, so come fall you may see materials laid out on the west lawn in preparation for placement in the new space!)
Where will kids play on rainy days in summer?
Just as they do now, Godine will have access to indoor play spaces such as the children’s gym, basketball gym, Gallery and dance studio on rainy days. Because Kaleidoscope camp is also operating in summer, the Godine directors always work carefully with camp leaders to share space and this summer will be no different.
Can the kids still have swim lessons during the summer?
Yes. Swim is an important part of our summer program and the outdoor pool will be open and ready for use.
What are you doing to the locker rooms?
We are completely renovating the locker rooms to include separate child and adult spaces which we know will improve the experience for everyone involved. We’re also adding 11 new family and gender neutral changing areas. Preschool children taking indoor swim will now be able to change in the children’s locker rooms, accompanied by their teachers.
What ages will children’s locker room serve?
Adults 18 and older will use the new adult lockers rooms. The boys and girls locker rooms will serve children ages 6-17, including swim team. The family changing rooms will offer private space for all ages.
What will families with multiple age children use for changing?
The opportunity to have more options for family changing is one of the things we’re most excited about in the new plan and we think the experience will improve for every single user. We are adding new private changing rooms which can be used by families with multiple-age children, individuals with special needs, or anyone who wants this option for any reason. Parents who are the same gender as the children they’re with can use the boys or girls locker rooms.
Exciting Changes Are Happening
Leventhal-Sidman Center Construction Details
The initial phase of this project will focus on a new state-of-the-art fitness center and fully renovated locker rooms for adults and children helping to build community and improve accessibility at the Leventhal-Sidman Center.
Our Campaign to Re-imagine the JCC Update
An update from the desk of Mark Sokoll, President/CEO, JCC Greater Boston