Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Summer Camp, the Reform facility in Oconomowoc, is to break ground on a new $4 million building that can accommodate everyone on campus simultaneously.
Heichal HaTarbut Kaye, the Kaye Cultural Center, is to be named for the former director and head nurse, Jerry and Paula Kaye, respectively.
The ceremonial groundbreaking is set for Aug. 4.
The camp does have other spots where the 650 campers and staff who are on campus at any given time can fit. There’s a dining hall and a sports center, but the new Kaye Cultural Center will be more appropriate for some activities, according to Solly Kane, director of OSRUI.
The center will be ideal for worship services and performances. Most of the 20,000 square-foot building will be comprised of one large room, with a bimah on one side and a high-school quality theater on the other.
“That’s a stage with built-in lights, built-in sound equipment space in the back for a prop workshop,” Kane said. “It’s a really well designed space for those kinds of programs.”
The building design is to take advantage of camp’s natural setting by bringing the outdoors in, with large glass windows, according to a news release. The design and architecture will match the surrounding buildings, creating a cohesive central campus.
The audience will be able to face either direction and the building will be dividable, so that, for example, a worship and theater program can each take place at the same time on different sides.
“It meets a real need for camp,” Kane said. “Camp is about these moments when we bring people together and to have all-camp experiences, and we have to have the right space to do that.”
The facility will be centrally located on the campus, close to the dining hall and the Daniel M. Soref Center. In addition to campers, it will serve synagogues and others who rent the facility when camp is not in session.
Besides the main, large room, the lobby will be a wide-open space, filled with light, according to the release. Break-out rooms off the lobby will allow for small and large group programming.
“The camp community has responded, stepped up,” Kane said. “The project is fairly close to fully funded. It has really been a community effort in making that happen.”
OSRUI is hosting an alumni day and groundbreaking on Aug. 4. For questions about the event, visit Osrui.org. Jerry, Paula and their families will be there, said Kane, adding, “This is a chance to honor their legacy, 48 years of leadership here at camp.”