AFTER more than 25 years on the corner of E. Hampden Ave. and S. Glencoe St., Temple Sinai members are building for the future.
The temple’s building committee conducted a comprehensive analysis to determine the needs of its community. The resulting preliminary plans include a new school building, a new chapel and renovations to the current sanctuary and main building.
Because renovating its current school would cost more than building a new one, plans include constructing a new school building on the west side of the property. This also means that there will be no downtime for the preschool or the religious school because the new school will be completed before the closing of the old school building.
“We invested a lot of research into our options for renovating the old school building,” said Rabbi Richard Rheins.
“It became very clear that in order to provide the most appropriate environment for our students and community, a new building was the optimal option.”
He added, “Temple Sinai places a high priority on providing a safe, modern and appropriate learning environment for its students.”
The new school building will have enhanced security, playgrounds surrounded on three sides by the building and a more secure entrance. It is designed to support current and expected needs.
The new chapel, located on the east side of the property, will seat approximately 150 and be available for smaller, more intimate worship services and lifecycle events.
BUILDING Committee Chairperson Michael Melun noted, “We are investing in our growth and success. Although the building will be efficient, well designed and attractive, Temple Sinai is taking a conservative approach to cost management that focuses on functionality.”
The capital campaign, “Building Our Future,” began recently with a kick-off concert with more than 400 attendees. An anonymous donor agreed to double all donations and pledges, up to $50,000, made through April.
“We are now actively fundraising as we finalize the plans for the project,” said Sheryl Gurrentz, project campaign chair. The funding effort already has raised $1.3 million in donations and pledges.
A number of events are planned to educate the membership and gain their financial support for the project.
“Temple Sinai places a high priority on providing a comprehensive Jewish educational program in our religious school and our preschool,” said Neil Culbertson, Temple Sinai board president.
“We view these exciting plans as an ongoing commitment to Temple Sinai’s future and we are honored to fulfill this responsibility.”