By: Bailey Spitz (11th Grade)
Photos By: Yakira Guttenberg (10th Grade)
For sophomore Ariella Sragowicz, the new middle school and high school building seemed more like a dream than a reality. Growing up, she’d been told every year that construction was imminent, but never saw any progress. Yet this year, as construction finally begins, she has hope of graduating in the new building.
“I’ve been in this school for fifteen years now, and for years they've been promising us a new middle school and high school building, but they haven't yet built one. Now they are, and I’m very excited about that,” Sragowicz said.
For years Hebrew Academy has been promising students a new middle and high school building. After a groundbreaking ceremony in 2019 that was followed by no visible construction, many students lost hope that they would ever see the building come to fruition. Due to many setbacks in the permitting stage, construction was delayed. However, after weeks of physical preparation, construction for the new building finally began on January 4th.
“The permitting process can usually take anywhere from six to twelve months, unfortunately for Hebrew Academy that process took almost two years which is an exceptionally long time for permitting,” said Board Member Marjan Katz. “That's one of the first things that really made this process drag out a lot longer than we wanted it to.”
Now that students can actually see the cranes and trailers, hinting to the beginnings of construction, the prospect of the building seems more real.
“It’s very exciting to know that were getting a new building. It has been on the record for a long time, and now in 2021 hopefully the dream will come true. We're looking forward to it,” said Head of Maintenance Tony Perez.
The new building will be three stories tall and have a parking garage, Beit Midrash, cafeteria, flexible classrooms, art studio, and an innovation center. The building will be right next to the gym in hopes to give the school a more “campus-like” vibe.
“Having the middle school and high school complex on the same side and connected to the gym will really give Hebrew Academy a complete campus feel,” said Head of School Rabbi Guttenberg.“ After school students can come to a basketball or volleyball game, they can work out, finish up a project in the art studio, go to a night class in the Beit Midrash, work on a project in the innovation center, and really feel like the entire campus is under one roof.”
As of right now, the construction of the building is expected to take around eighteen months, meaning that the students would begin the 2022-2023 school year in the new building. For the class of 2023, the potential of being the first graduating class in the new building is exciting, and makes them hopeful with the school finally beginning construction.
“It's really exciting that our last experience in this school will be in the new building, and that we will get to graduate from it,” said Emily Roller (10th).