A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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First look at the Marilyn Fox Building transformation

The renovation of the Jewish Community Center’s Marilyn Fox Building is underway with significant changes already visible. Those updates will be on display at a donor event on Monday evening, June 24.

Construction began on the 26-year-old facility in April. The rehab work is on schedule and a September 2025 completion is expected.

Much of the renovation involves cosmetic changes to the building, including new flooring, new lighting and fresh paint. The overall 65,000-square foot size of the structure will not change. However, the interior space is being reconfigured to maximize efficiency. For example, the new community commons area near the main entrance will serve as a multi-purpose space. It can be configured for conference room seating, theater seating or events. It will enable the J to provide additional services to members, according to Tracy Bowler, director of marketing and communications.

“It’s a repurposing of the space that exists,” Bowler said. “I could see us potentially doing a used book sale here on a smaller scale.”

Another new section of the Fox Building will be the J’s second adult day center. The current center at the Staenberg Family Complex on the Millstone campus has been an important asset to the community. A key part of the center is the Connections Program, which offers a variety of activities and intergenerational events for adults who require assistance during the day. In addition, the center offers the In Program, developed in 2016 to support young adults with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and other physical and developmental disabilities.

The adult day center in the Fox Building will offer the same services as the existing one, with capacity for 36 participants. It will serve a part of west St. Louis County that currently has few facilities which offer these services.

Other areas of the Fox Building are also being updated, including the locker rooms, gymnasium, track and fitness center. Members can find a color-coded status report posted in the lobby, which is updated every Monday. Work on the upstairs bathrooms is complete and resurfacing of the track is nearly complete.

Along with the renovation work, J supporters are well on their way to funding the project, according to Julie Gibbs, chief philanthropy officer.

“We’ve gained momentum on the campaign and currently are over $12.1 million on a $14.6 million project,” Gibbs said. “We are grateful to the Fox Family for their incredible leadership giving to this project honoring Marilyn Fox and her wonderful legacy.”

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About the Contributor
Bill Motchan, writer/photographer
Bill worked in corporate communications for AT&T for 28 years. He is a former columnist for St. Louis Magazine. Bill has been a contributing writer for the Jewish Light since 2015 and is a three-time winner of the Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish Journalism. He also is a staff writer for the travel magazine Show-Me Missouri. Bill grew up in University City. He now lives in Olivette with his wife and cat, Hobbes. He is an avid golfer and a fan of live music. He has attended the New Orleans Jazzfest 10 times and he has seen Jimmy Buffett in concert more t han 30 times between 1985 and 2023.