JCC of Greater New Haven doors back open after massive fire

The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven (Image: jccnh.org)

WOODBRIDGE, Conn.(WTNH) — A homecoming in Woodbridge as Monday is the first day the Jewish Community Center had their doors back open since a huge fire destroyed most of their fitness complex.

Ladies dove right into water aerobics, and the men are back in the swing of things on the racquetball courts. One group News 8 spoke with plays 3 times a week together, but today they’re back home.

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“We’re thrilled to have them open,” said JCC member Larry Shanbrom. “To see it now back up and running at least in a limited basis is fantastic.”

“Today is an emotional day,” said CEO of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, Judy Alperin.

This is the first time they’ve been in their Amity Road location since a massive December fire. It sparked in the sauna and wiped out their fitness complex,.

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“It was a suspended wood floor that was gorgeous and it was all destroyed by the water,” said Alperin as she looks at the half-constructed basketball courts.

Their basketball courts, dance studio, and cafe still need to be redone, but today they’re celebrating. Doors are open. Folks are dipping in the pool, sweating it out on the courts, and kids have their Playscape back. Perfect for their first day of summer camp.

Alperin said, “Nothing like a new beginning all the way around and to see people of all ages back on our campus is really heartening.”

They hope to have everything redone by December of this year. That would be one year since the fire.