Crews working to reopen JCC six months after fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Crews working to reopen JCC six months after fire

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Crews are working to reopen the JCC in Woodbridge following a fire (WFSB) Crews are working to reopen the JCC in Woodbridge following a fire (WFSB)
WOODBRIDGE, CT (WFSB) -

Six months ago, a devastating fire forced the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven out of its home.

However, a homecoming is now just a few weeks away as crews continue to clean and rebuild so the center and its members can move forward.

The fire happened on Dec. 5, where flames broke out in the lower level locker room, with smoke and water damage spreading throughout the building.

But the JCC announced plans to return and rebuild on its Amity Road site.

Judy Alperin, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, said while a task force considered other options and locations earlier this month, it decided to return to its location made the most sense, including being able to get it all done within the $2 million to $2.5 million the JCC received from its insurance.

The first phase is reopening the pool and racquetball courts on June 19.

"We're going to construct a pathway to get down to the pool from the parking lot, making that accessible,” Alperin said.

One week after that, its summer camps will get underway.

In the days and months after the fire, the JCC opened up satellite locations, including contracting with neighboring town pools, like the one at Orange's community center.

The JCC moved its early childhood education programs to a local synagogue, and set up a fitness center on Research Drive.

While the center has lost hundreds of members since the fire, Alperin is hoping, as they return to the central location, so will those members.

Alperin added that while it is an ambitious goal, the hope is to have all of its services and programs moved back by December, but she said there is still a lot of work to be done, between now and then.

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