Staff of the new, $270 million Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life will move into their offices Wednesday, three months in advance of the south Palo Alto center's grand opening.
The campus includes the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center and Moldaw Family Residences.
"We'll be spending August setting up and getting ready to open the doors of our fitness center and preschool in September," Alan Sataloff, CEO of the community center, said. "In fact, we're going to invite some of our charter members to help us 'beta test' the facilities in late August -- just like any other Silicon Valley company might do before officially launching."
Senior inhabitants of the Moldaw Family Residences will officially begin moving in during October, according to Daniel Ruth, president and CEO of Jewish Home of San Francisco and the Moldaw Family Residences.
The grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 18.
This week, the 8.5-acre campus at San Antonio and Charleston roads is still the site of heavy construction with drill-wielding crews driving tractors in and out of the area. The rectangular, modern buildings feature several stories of gleaming glass windows, balconies and shingles in pale yellows and greens.
The 145,000-square-foot Jewish Community Center (JCC) will provide members with sports facilities including an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center and indoor sports courts. The center will also offer educational opportunities ranging from pre-school and after-school programs to lectures and performances in the theater space.
"The Oshman Family JCC sees itself as a nexus of community life providing everything from a state-of-the art fitness center to a performing arts showcase to holding engaging classes for everyone from preschoolers to seniors through our membership programs," Sataloff said.
The inhabitants of the 193 units of senior housing in the 310,000-square-foot Moldaw Family Residences will be allotted multiple benefits such as health care coverage. The eight linked buildings will include dining venues, a music room and a library.
"We wanted to design spaces for older adults that would provide them with an exquisite quality of life and assist them effectively," Ruth said. "We thought of every detail from short walking distances to lighting, color palette and floor services."
The collaborative project was founded in 2001 by the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center (now the Oshman Family JCC) in Palo Alto, the Jewish Home in San Francisco, the Jewish Community Federation and local community leaders.
The coalition of Jewish organizations created the fundraising wing to support acquisition of the former Sun Microsystems site and construction of the campus, according to Sataloff.
"For nearly 50 years, this community has tried to build a permanent home for its Jewish Community Center," Sataloff said. "This has been the most exciting project of my career both because of the size of the project and because of the depth of community commitment, financing and passion about making it happen."
"The idea of building residences has been a dream of the Bay Area Jewish community for 25 to 30 years," Ruth said. "When we had the opportunity to partner with the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, it was a dream come true."
Although the idea for the campus was conceived as early as 2001, ground was not broken until 2007, according to marketing director Hallie Baron.
"It took many years to get the bonds issued and the financing for the campus before construction could begin," she said.
The $270 million project was funded by a combination of tax-exempt bonds issued by nonprofit organizations and donations from 550 private donors.
An extensive real estate team was hired to develop the campus. The seven companies are involved in the design, management and construction of the facilities, officials said.
The eco-friendly campus, which will apply for a LEED-silver sustainability certification, includes a transportation-management plan, onsite recycling programs, water efficiency in landscaping and an integrated building management system that controls all energy use.
Webcor Builders, a contractor on the center's real estate team, helped develop the eco-conscious buildings.
"The campus preserves precious open space by reclaiming a former industrial site and 90 percent of the construction and demolition debris was diverted away from landfills," Andy Ball, president and CEO of Webcor Builders, said.
The campus was built for sustainability because it was the right thing to do, according to Baron.
"The campus will reduce energy consumption, which will require less power and will thus be more cost saving," she said. "The community wanted to have as low an impact on the south Palo Alto area as possible. The previous owner dumped chemicals onto the ground. We cleaned it up and capped it so it can't contaminate the water supply or harm any wildlife or people that come through."
Only the fine tuning remains to be completed before the site's anticipated opening in October.
"The whole exterior is done," Baron said. "They're only doing small things like the plantings of all the beautiful gardens and the tile work on the pool. The campus looks like a real place and not just like a construction project."