Updates and Photos

Redevelopment Update - April 2014


By all accounts yes!

Let me share with you a few thoughts from my last site visit.

The site was a beehive of activity with some 70 workers from all manner of trades. There were back hoes, scissor lifts, cranes, jack hammers, power saws and grinders creating a cacophony of sounds.

The site is changing rapidly. Some of the coloured exterior glass has gone in, the limestone exterior is almost complete and the main exterior windows are done. The interior duct work in the Spiritual Centre is coming along rapidly and the t-bar grid for the ceilings are being placed.

Level 0 of the Gales Family Life & Education Centre is ready for painting. We even have some of the millwork - cabinets and other wood trim going in. We also had our first meeting to begin the commissioning process - checking how all the equipment works, understanding the variety of systems and how they operate together and need to be managed. The building is dynamic. It actually has a life force - fluids get pumped about, energy flows in different ways.

And in September we will add the heart and soul to the new building – our members!

Redevelopment Update - February 2014

The crane is down, which is a very good sign. It means that all the heavy lifting is done – the steel beams for the roof are all in place and the cladding for the top of the Gales Family Life & Education Centre and the Spiritual Centre have all been hoisted into place. There is a lot of glass to be installed including large panes on the three walls of the Spiritual Centre and skylights for the sanctuary and chapel areas.

The walls for the Spiritual Centre are being worked on along with the windows and doors. In a short time the complex will be buttoned up from the outside. The elements will no longer be a concern for the numerous staff on site. The lower level and the parking structure have duct work in place to provide for the heating and cooling, along with all the conduits for electrical and data lines. Pipes for plumbing and gas are installed too. As one walks through the site, the numerous spaces can now be more clearly visualized. The interior framing is in place defining offices and other rooms. The stairs can be climbed and you can walk down the ramps in the parking structure.

We are working towards our September opening and still have much left to do. But soon the beautiful limestone exterior for the Spiritual Centre will start being placed. The contractor, consultants, trades people and architects have been working very diligently with us, to best ensure we are welcomed into a truly warm and inviting synagogue that will help realize the futures dreams of BI.

The campaign is still ongoing. We continue to visit with prospective donors as well as with donors who have already made a pledge. We are working hard to raise another $2 million to hit our initial campaign target of $18 million from our members. For those donors who have been able to advance their payments, we thank them, as it reduces the interest payable, and thus overall costs of our project.

And a special thank you to our donors, who have been able to increase their initial donations. Because of your generousity, we are near $15.8 million raised. What an accomplishment!

We still have gap in funding (between $3 and $5 million) but, with your ongoing support, we believe we will close that to an affordable level for a mortgage that we could carry for a few years.

February 28, 2014 - Photo Update

Limestone going up on the exterior of BI Building

New entry way into synagogue on 28th Avenue

View from Rabbi Infeld's office


WOW – have you seen the site recently!

The new BI is rising skyward. The two level parkade is basically complete and the steel structure for the roof of the new sanctuary is being installed.

The Gales Family Life & Education Centre has the new floors poured and the new roof is being completed. The inner structure is starting to take shape too.

Over the next several weeks, the interior finishes will be confirmed. We met again with the Interior Design Focus Group and received very helpful comments about the fabric and colours for the wood paneling, carpets and sanctuary seats. The areas of concrete floor will look amazing, involving a special mix and grinding, that makes it look like terrazzo but at an affordable cost.

The landscape consultants are finalizing the plans for our expansive outdoor areas. We will have many varied spaces for mediation and contemplation, celebration and prayer with varied seating options and both hard and soft surfaces. As well directly off the Youth Lounge will be a gaga pit – allowing for this well known Jewish camp outdoor activity to be enjoyed at BI.

View looking south. Showing the new drive aisle to the two story underground parkade. The open space will be landscaped and also provide a future home for an "office" building development.

View is looking north from 28th Avenue. The roof is on for our new Spiritual Centre housing the Sanctuary, Chapel, Pray and Play space and wonderful foyer and lobbies.

Plumbing, electrical and ventilation systems being installed.