One of Houston’s most cherished and beloved cultural centers has announced a highly anticipated milestone event. The renovated and expanded Velva G and H. Fred Levine Jewish Federation Building at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center will break ground on January 31, 2021, per a press release.
As CultureMap previously reported, the center — known affectionately as the “the J” — is in the midst of a pivotal $50 million fundraising campaign. Thus far, the campaign has raised $42.5 million since the announcement in February.
To celebrate the occasion an official groundbreaking ceremony will take place on January 31. The event will feature family activities, including spray painting and chalking designated areas that will be part of the tear-down, per a release. After morning activities, a formal event will start at 2 pm.
Chaired by Leah and Jon Gross and John Dreyfus, the formal groundbreaking ceremony, will feature VIPs including U.S. Representative Lizzie Fletcher, Mayor Sylvester Turner, State Representative Ann Johnson, and City Council Member Abbie Kamin who will officially “turn the dirt,” per a release. Family activities will resume into the afternoon, per a release.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on the south side of the JCC in front of the fitness center; family activities are scheduled for around the pool and throughout the property.
Dubbed “Our New J,” the project n will consist of 126,000 square feet towards a new facility and 27,000 square feet of renovations to the existing center. The new three-story state-of-the-art facility is designed by Gensler Architecture & Design and is comprised of enhanced features and a new building configuration. The general contractor is Tellepsen; The Mathis Group will oversee project management.