Jewish Day School opens new chapter

Publication Date: Wednesday Jun 17, 1998

SCHOOLS: Jewish Day School opens new chapter

New building will allow school to double number of students

Students at the Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School celebrated the last day of school and a new beginning for their school on Friday.

The Jewish Day School, located in the Jewish Community Center on Arastradero Road, broke ground on its new school building for primary grades in a ceremony attended by Palo Alto Mayor Dick Rosenbaum and Assemblywoman Elaine Alquist.

"This is a special day in the history of our school," said Gerry Elgarten, the school's director. "The short story is: We did it."

To date, a fund-raising campaign launched in 1996 has raised over $5 million toward construction of the new school, according to Laura Lauder, chair of the capital campaign.

The two-story building with a basement will have eight classrooms, a library, computer facilities and the school offices. Lauder said the school needs another $1 million to keep mortgage payments and tuition at a reasonable rate.

The day school currently holds its classes in four rooms in the Jewish Community Center and two owned by the city of Palo Alto, all of which are located in the former Terman Junior High School site. The new school will be built on a lot between the Jewish Community Center, which is owned by the city, and Alta Mesa Cemetery.

"Next year is the last year we have access to the two rooms owned by the city of Palo Alto," Elgarten said. "Just by luck, this property (adjacent to the Jewish Community Center) became available."

The school has grades K-5 now, and sixth-grade classes will be added next year. The school will add seventh- and eighth-grade classes when the new building is completed by the fall of 1999, Elgarten said.

--Charlie Breitrose 

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