A ribbon cutting will be held Friday, September 23 at 11:00 a.m. to unveil a new $17 million expansion to the Jewish Community Center of Rochester on Edgewood Avenue in Brighton.
JCC Artistic Director Ralph Meranto discussed the 26,000 square foot expansion Wednesday on News 8 at Sunrise.
“Frankly, we were busting at the seams,” said Meranto. “We’ve always had these amazing programs for fitness and aquatics at the JCC, but we were running out of space, so we just kept commandeering every little corner we could to expand our programs, and we just really needed to make it bigger, so a huge new addition on the back that has a double floor fitness area, a huge new aquatics expansion with a second pool and an outdoor splash park. It’s just an incredible, amazing facility now.”
The expansion will accommodate group fitness programs and the need for varied aquatic activity. “We always had a great pool,” noted Meranto. “Now that pool will be exclusively for laps and now they’ve added a whole second pool that will be for physical training and for recreation. It’s got a resistance walk, so that people can walk against the flow of the water, which is a good training thing. It has a zero entry, so there’s no stairs, so that way infants and seniors can get in without having to climb stairs. We’ll even have wheelchair access with special access to the water so that they can come in for hydrotherapy and things like that. It’s really, really amazing.”
The expansion is having an economic impact on the community as well. “This construction process has taken over a year, so there’s been dozens of construction jobs added in the process to get the facility up and ready,” Meranto said. “We’ve added aquatics jobs, we’ve added group fitness positions. It’s just a bigger, better place so there are more and more people that are working as a result of it.”
Meranto said the JCC is for everyone in the community to enjoy. “The JCC is the Jewish Community Center – so we always say our middle name is community,” he observed. “We are a facility for everyone. We have the Wolk Children’s Center that has kids coming in as infants, we have programs for seniors. You see 100 year old people walking around and trying to work out, doing everything they can to stay as healthy as possible so we really serve all communities, Jewish and non-Jewish, young and old, whatever your needs are there is a program for you at the JCC. We knew we needed to keep expanding and offer all of these great programs. We now have a facility that matches the level of the programs that we’ve always had.”
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