Update on the Muswell Hill Synagogue Building Project
In July of this year the Muswell Hill Synagogue Board, together with the United Synagogue, agreed to move forward with the exciting plans for the renovation and improvement of our building and facilities. Those plans were presented at a special meeting for the community that took place on July 1st and they are presented in detail in the shul foyer. They can also be found by clicking on the following link
Since the July meeting we’ve been working hard to listen to, and incorporate wherever possible, all of the feedback that we heard that evening and in the subsequent days and weeks. You will appreciate that we cannot set out each point individually here, but a few key updates from our work are as follows:
• We have identified a possible position, plan and cost for an elevator that could service the ground floor, first floor (ladies gallery and nursery) and second floor. This has been professionally costed at £225,000. This is a very significant cost in the context of our overall budget but our proposal at this stage is to add this to our fundraising efforts as a ‘stretch’ target.
• We have held further, extensive, discussions with the nursery resulting in some improvements to the planned play area.
• CST have approved our planned security arrangements.
So whilst the designs continue to be honed we feel increasingly confident that we have arrived at a design which ambitious yet affordable, and one that will serve all stakeholders in the community and support our planned growth and vision for the future.
With that in mind we intend to focus on two main streams of work in the coming months:
1. Fundraising. This is our project as a community and we want every single member of the community to have the opportunity to get involved in this effort, hear more about our plans, and find ways to help and contribute in whatever form possible. So please do watch out for further information and an invitation to fundraising meetings over the coming weeks. The fundraising team, led by Steven Feldman, are very excited to be moving into this phase of discussion with the community.
2. Planning. In our article for the shul magazine at Rosh Hashana we outlined the major stages of a project of this nature. So far we have been at Stage One – Feasibility. With our plans now confirmed we now intend to commence Stage Two – Planning. In this phase we will formally appoint professionals to deepen the structural and engineering plans, and to develop these into a formal planning application to Haringey. All formal appointments of professionals will be made by the United Synagogue who will bring their extensive knowledge of similar projects such to bear. Everything will of course be done in conjunction with the Building Committee and Executive. We anticipate this next stage taking around three to four months and costing the community between £10,000 and £15,000.
Although we are optimistic there is of course much uncertainty about both the fundraising and planning activities. With that in mind we are unable yet to lock in either a start, or completion date, for any works. Our current modelling shows that earliest feasible start date for work would be around the summer of 2020 and that we would be able to keep the building mostly in use during the programme which would last around 12 months in total.
We are hugely excited to have reached this point in our journey and we look forward to engaging further with the community during the coming months.
We would very much welcome the involvement of community members in our fundraising initiative. If members are interested in getting involved then please contact the shul office ()
Greg Swimer and Marc Rubinstein
on behalf of the Shul Executive and The Building Committee