With the snip of a giant scissors, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School celebrated the opening of its new building, which added 25,000 square feet to its campus.
"For 73 years, this school has served as a beacon in the community," said Head of School Gary Weisserman during the ceremony. "This incredible new facility builds on that foundation of excellence and provides the resources and environment required for the education of 21st-century learners who aim to not only be the best in the world, but the best for the world."
The Oct. 27 celebration was attended by 600 community members, including State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, and JUF President Lonnie Nasatir, himself a Bernard Zell parent.
The new facility houses an administrative office suite; an in-the-round sacred space for prayers and Jewish celebrations; a 700-seat gymnasium/auditorium; a renovated athletic field; two modular music classrooms; two science classrooms; and an "innovation hub" featuring 3D printers and laser cutters alongside traditional tools, art supplies and technology.
A renovated front entrance includes an entry plaza, outdoor classroom, and light-filled lobby with enhanced security vestibule.
"This school has always been dedicated to nurturing curious and compassionate leaders," said Dana Hirt, capital project co-chair. "This new facility offers us unlimited potential to continue to advance our educational program, fostering creativity, problem solving, artistic expression, teamwork, community, and spiritual growth."
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School was founded in 1946. The school launched its Campaign to Transform Bernard Zell, which has an ongoing goal of $23.5 million, in early 2017.