Major Staff Housing Renovations

by Bobby Harris, Director of URJ Camp Coleman

I am thrilled to report that at the recent URJ North American Board meeting in St Petersburg the North American Camp Committee approved major renovations for two original Coleman buildings that currently house Coleman specialists.  Construction is scheduled to begin in January and to be completed by May in time for summer 2013.    

What was originally built in 1962 as the camp infirmary and has functioned as a Staff Dormitory for the last 10 years will now be transformed into staff housing that will provide ample space, privacy, and comfort for 20 staff members.   A wrap-around deck will also be added to the Staff Dorm and each room will now have its own private entrance.  Also, the 4 staff rooms, originally built in 1963 underneath the Ulam Elisheva , will be significantly enlarged and modernized with central air-conditioning. We are hoping to raise enough money to redo the public restrooms that are also underneath the Elisheva.  Special care will be taken to preserve as much of the original Art Room as possible and to preserve the special history of that room.

It is estimated that total construction will cost nearly $500,000 for this important work.  The URJ challenged Camp Coleman donors with a $230,000 matching grant to help make these necessary changes — camp leadership is working hard to secure pledges to complete this work. The fact that the URJ and key donors stepped forward to renovate Staff Housing shows that professional and lay leadership throughout the URJ understand just how important it is to have the right facilities to attract top-notch staff .  For more information in participating in this effort, please contact Jaimee Boettcher, Development Director, at jboettcher@urj.org.

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