Construction for Temple Har Shalom underway | ParkRecord.com

Construction for Temple Har Shalom underway

SKYLER BELL, Of the Record staff

They broke ground on Oct. 8 and now Cameron Construction has officially begun work on the new 30,000-sqaure-foot synagogue for Temple Har Shalom that is scheduled to open around Thanksgiving 2007.

The building, designed by Prescott Muir Architects of Salt Lake City and Alfred Jacoby

of Germany, will located on the northeast side of S.R. 224 near The Colby School.

Project Manager Kevin Cameron of Cameron Construction said it will be built of block, brick and wood siding, with interior finishes including wood ceilings, plaster walls and stained glass windows.

"They’ve decided they’re going to use plaster in the sanctuary and the multi-purpose hall, which is a finer finish than just drywall," he said. "Plaster has got more of a craft-oriented finish."

He said the building will also include state-of-the-art electrical and audio/visual systems, making the structure, "truly world class."

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"This facility has been designed and specked out to be world class," he said. "It’s going to take extra attention to detail on the part of the staff and myself. It won’t be easy."

One of the obstacles in their way is the weather. With a relatively late start and deadline just a year away, Cameron said he has his work cut out for him.

"Right now we’re looking to be complete fall of 2007, but, unfortunately, we’re getting started the first of November so the weather is going to pose some problems for us."

Another one of the problems is the booming real estate market, which is taking all the local workers to other jobs.

"We’ve had a permit for about three weeks now and it’s been a bit of a struggle to get started," he said. "The construction economy is so strong right now that trying to get resources allocated is pretty tough. Everybody is stretched pretty thin."

The building will include classrooms, a kitchen, multi-purpose hall, sanctuary, administration offices and a basement for mechanical spaces and future classrooms. The building will cost over $1 million to build.

"The design philosophy, which is almost like a mission statement, is: this will be a new Jewish community center and synagogue building that will accommodate worship, education for all ages, gatherings and meeting of many types and sizes sometimes simultaneously outdoor gathering, viewing of presentations in all formats, including lectures, movies, plays and concerts, and mile-stone life events, such as weddings, bar/batmitzvahs and britmilah," he said. "The building should be as welcoming and comforting to non-Jews as it is to Jews, but be identifiably Jewish."

Cameron, who works on commercial properties, said the feeling of the building is already different because of the level of excitement from the Jewish community.

"It’s notably different," he said. "We’ve done church work before, like for the Catholic church for example. Churches are different than regular commercial building because people are more emotional and attached to them then let’s say a strip mall. It’s almost a second home to some people."