Building a Brighter Future: Generations Campaign Announces Groundbreaking, Aquatics Center and Tennis Courts
Close representation of the final design of the new Dell Jewish Community Center building front facade. Credit: The Beck Group
By Tonyia Cone
Shalom Austin’s Generations Campaign will continue its progress building a brighter future for our community, with a major milestone coming up Oct. 25 — the campaign’s groundbreaking.
The groundbreaking will be held virtually at 11 a.m. CST, Oct. 25. The entire community is invited to participate in this historic moment. Registration is available at shalomaustin.org/groundbreaking.
The Generations Campaign is the first capital campaign since the Dell Jewish Community Campus opened in January 2000. The $25 million raised is earmarked for the expansion and renovation of the Dell Jewish Community Campus and is restricted solely for this purpose.
The groundbreaking comes on the heels of this summer’s Shalom Austin JCC Early Childhood Program refresh, now named The Clifford Zeifman Family Early Childhood Center.
Children safely gather in a newly refreshed ECP classroom. The ECP refresh includes new paint, flooring and ceilings. Credit: Dave Hawks.
The refresh included new paint, flooring and ceilings, and the newly named Laura and Andy Pastor Lobby, featuring a wide-open, welcoming space that includes a check-in window with protective plexiglass to greet families and ensure the safety and security of ECP staff and members of the ECP family.
This summer, the general contractor, IE2 Construction Inc., was selected. In early fall 2020, The Beck Group completed the design.
With the groundbreaking, The Rochelle and Stanley Ferdman Family Aquatic Center will be the first project.
David and Shantel Ferdman. With the groundbreaking, The Rochelle and Stanley Ferdman Family Aquatic Center will be the first project. Photo courtesy of David and Shantel Ferdman
The Ferdman family lived in Austin when the vision for the Dell Jewish Community Campus first started to take shape. Now a Generations Campaign Building Committee co-chair, David Ferdman looks forward to the new programming and cultural opportunities the expansion will bring and said the campus continues to mean so much to their family because of its role as a community gathering place.
“The entire new list of additions is exciting both for the new people in Austin as well as the people who have been here forever,” David said. “The J is an amazing asset to the community, and as it has expanded, it just makes it that much better.”
“As a mom who took my kids to the pool, I am so excited to see the new pool activity area,” Shantel Ferdman said.
The Generations Building Committee’s Aquatics Task Force met for many months with aquatic consultants Counsilman-Hunsaker, planning and preparing for the project to begin. The task force is made up of Generations Building Committee co-chair David Ferdman; Generations Building Committee member Steve Krasoff; Ben Grant, Square One Consultants project manager; Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus, Shalom Austin CEO; Janet S. Elam, Shalom Austin COO; Jen Reed, Shalom Austin fitness and athletics director; and Heather Brands, Shalom Austin aquatics director.
Brands said she is thrilled to be involved in the remodeling of the outdoor aquatics center.
“As a team we are working really hard to create a beautiful and exciting outdoor space that is inviting for all our members, especially families. I am most excited about our new activity pool which will include spray features, dumping buckets, water tables, and slides,” she said.
The Ferdman Family Aquatic Center will also feature two large slides for older children.
“The lap pool will continue to be an 8-lane, 25-yard pool with a much larger shallow area and the ability to rotate lap swimming directions. Next summer we will continue to offer swim lessons, youth and adult swim teams, and lifeguard courses, as well as community events like Splash Bash,” Brands added.
Designed by Counsilman-Hunsaker, the space will include updated bathrooms and a new snack bar will offer Austin-centric, healthy, family friendly snacks and drinks. Environmentally friendly, sustainable landscaping will be incorporated into the space, which was designed to preserve the area’s trees.
This first phase of Generations also includes construction of The Hurt Family Tennis Center.
The Hurt family. The first phase of Generations includes construction of The Hurt Family Tennis Center. Photo courtesy of Debra and Brett Hurt
Debra and Brett Hurt explained, “Having a center for Jewish activities in Austin keeps us all connected and brings out our mutual love for Judaism and our community. When we visited other cities to help assess what drew people to their JCCs on a regular basis, two features lacking in Austin kept coming up: an incredible year-round tennis program and a family-friendly, outdoor water park. We knew then what we wanted to see at our JCC.”
“We’re on a terrific path already with a diverse and growing Jewish community in a beautiful and dynamic city. We can become the most connected, lively, and ambitious Jewish community in the U.S. if enough of us are willing to step up and do our part,” added the Hurts.
Shalom Austin Athletics Director Jen Reed and Generations architect The Beck Group consulted with tennis professionals and others while planning the tennis center.
“We’ve been dreaming about tennis courts at Shalom Austin JCC for as long as I’ve been here, and I’m thrilled to see it become a reality,” said Reed. “The Hurt Family Tennis Center will include six lit courts and is the perfect year-round addition to our athletics offerings.”
The courts will include lines for adult and youth tennis and pickleball. Tennis youth programs will include lessons, camps, classes and USTA Junior Team Tennis to satisfy a range of skill levels and foster a love of the lifetime sport. Adults will enjoy leagues, clinics, private and group lessons, workouts and social tournaments.
“It’s no surprise that Austin has a very active tennis community, and we’re so excited to be a part of it,” Reed said.
The Generations project is adhering to COVID safety measures during construction while preparing for future facilities that safely meet the evolving needs of the community. Generations Campaign leaders expect the first phase of the project to finish in summer 2021. Leaders’ current plans for phases two and three include construction of a new building and major building renovations and are planned to wrap up in summer 2022.
For more information and updates, visit shalomaustin.org/generations. ■
The Generations Leadership Team would like to thank all the volunteers and staff who helped us to arrive at this sacred moment:
Janet S. Elam
Susan Zane Epstein
FA Midlo, z”l
Harriett Kirsh Pozen
Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus
On November 7, Jennifer Greenblum will be honored at Mosaic as the 2022 Woman of Valor for her longtime commitment to the Jewish community.
Jewish National Fund-USA partnered with Austin Jewish Academy, Congregation Agudas Achim, and Austin firefighters to host a 9/11 ceremony.