Jewish Federation of Cleveland to Open Mandel Building

July 29, 2010 at 8:00 am | Posted in Press Releases | Leave a comment

The Mandel BuildingThe Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Mandel Building, located at 25701 Science Park Drive, will officially open for business on Monday, August 2.

“The Mandel Building was designed with both efficiency of use and the environment in mind,” said Ron Ratner, chair of the Federation’s Building Committee which oversaw the purchase and renovation of the building. “The impact on the environment and the state of the economy were key factors in choosing renovation over new construction.”

In developing a “green” plan to guide the renovation and operations of the building, every detail was planned from day one of demolition to operations after the doors are open. More than 90 percent of all construction waste from the project was recycled and diverted from the landfill. A cornerstone of the design and floor plans, developed by Tom Galvin of Vocon Inc., a local architecture firm, was the maximization of natural light with nearly all of the interior workspaces having direct sunlight. The use of renewable materials and energy efficient systems were also key factors in applying for LEED certification – an internationally recognized “green” building certification system.

Additionally, the Federation received two government grants totaling more than $350,000 for the hardware and installation of a 76-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array rooftop system. It is estimated that the panels will prevent 1,500 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere over 25 years – the equivalent of planting 54,000 trees. The “greenness” of the Mandel Building continues with composting and recycling programs, an indoor bike rack and reserved spaces for carpools to encourage alternate forms of transportation.

The state-of-the-art facilities, which include built-in video and teleconferencing capabilities, will maximize communication at every level. “This advanced technology will enable people to connect wherever they are – around the corner or across the globe,” said Michael Siegal, board chair. “As well as engage partner agencies, synagogues and the community-at-large in Federation activities and Jewish life.”

Visitors to the building will also be greeted by interactive touch screen displays that provide the history of Jewish Cleveland and its agencies as well as the leaders, donors and volunteers who make Cleveland the world renowned community that it has become.

A $16 million grant from the Mandel Foundation, established by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel, was designated to the Federation for the purchase of the $7.225 million property. The balance of the grant was used to fully renovate the 65,000 square foot building. The Mandel brothers have been active leaders in the Federation, as well as the general community, for decades.

“With all the time, energy and resources that went into the planning of this building, it is a pleasure to see it come to fruition,” said Harley I. Gross, immediate past board chair. “All of us here today, as well as future generations, are indebted to Jack, Joe and Mort Mandel for giving this gift to Jewish Cleveland. Achieving the goals we set forth nearly two years ago for the Federation, as well as for our engagement with the City of Cleveland, is certainly something of which we can all be proud. The future is certainly looking bright.”

Over the past 15 months, the Federation’s Downtown Vision Committee, charged with developing initiatives to enhance Jewish engagement in downtown and support economic developments in Northeast Ohio, has made significant advancements.

The two buildings owned by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland on 18th and Euclid will likely be occupied in the next few months through a potential partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. This effort is part of the Federation’s deep commitment to public education, as well as to Cleveland’s future as a region.

On yet another front geared towards Cleveland’s growth as part of a global economy, the Federation continues to take a lead role in creating an initiative meant to attract international talent to Northeast Ohio to accelerate the economic growth of the region, an effort that has been called the Cleveland International Welcome Center. Kauser Razvi, a former planner for Shaker Heights, has been contracted to facilitate the development of a community-wide plan and set of primary initiatives towards this goal. Baiju R. Shah, president and CEO of BioEnterprise, has agreed to assemble and head a diverse group of business, civic, and community leaders to guide the development of this initiative. The planning process is expected to be completed by November 2010.

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