Kaplan Construction Announces Completion of Congregation Beth Shalom

Beth Shalom Exterior Photo credit: Melissa Bullock

BOSTON – May 13, 2016 – Kaplan Construction, a WBE general contractor and construction management firm providing comprehensive building programs across Greater Boston, announced today the completion of a new 8,500 SF, two-story building for Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills in Milton, Mass. A dedication, including a Torah parade and a ceremony at the temple, was held May 1st.

The new temple will house Milton’s only Jewish congregation, which has not had its own home for five years. Simplicity and flexibility stand out in the synagogue’s light-filled design that reflects the beauty of the wooded surroundings through the predominantly glass facade. The sanctuary can seat 160 people for the High Holidays.  The building also has four classrooms, offices, a library, kitchen and areas for socializing.

“Kaplan Construction was stellar from the beginning to the end of our project,” said Ada Rosmarin, chair of the building steering committee.  “We are so proud of our new building and look forward to sharing it with others for many years to come.”

Founded in 1944, the former Temple Shalom experienced a decline in membership from a peak of 500 to as few as 120 families. In 2011 it sold its former facility to Concord Baptist Church of Boston and began holding services in a nearby church and religious classes in a local school. In 2013 Temple Shalom merged with Quincy’s last synagogue, Temple Beth El, to form Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills. Following a long and unsuccessful search for a suitable site on which to build a new temple, Milton resident and temple members Marvin A. and Andrea Gordon donated a 1.9-acre site that was once part of a 10-acre kosher dairy farm run by his grandfather and the first property owned by a Jewish family in Milton.

“Without hesitation I would recommend Kaplan Construction to be a true partner in a building project,” said Deborah Felton, member of the building steering committee.  “Kaplan was always available to provide guidance for lay people navigating our way through construction.  Any question we had was answered patiently and thoughtfully.”

The focal point of the synagogue is the Ark with its finely crafted doors. Custom-built by Toronto artist Temma Gentles, the symbolic steel and fabric parochet was designed to complement the outdoor scenery on view through the windows of the sanctuary. Kaplan provided design guidance and cost analyses, and set milestone dates so that the construction of this significant feature could work seamlessly into the overall project schedule.

“What we bring to the table is our expertise in construction and renovation for houses of worship,” said Wright Dickinson, senior project manager for Kaplan Construction. “No matter what the budget is, our goal is to help our clients maximize their funds to create a new space that will suit their needs. In the end we want to deliver an award-winning project that will look great and function well for decades.”

The design/build project team members for the Congregation Beth Shalom project include:

  • Architect: Abacus Architects + Planners
  • Mechanical Engineering: WV Engineering Associates
  • Civil Engineering: Stantec
  • Fire Protection: Lynco Fire Protection
  • Plumbing: Lundy Plumbing & Heating
  • HVAC: Breen & Sullivan Mechanical Services
  • Electric: Guzovsky Electric

Susan Shelby, FSMPS, CPSM
Rhino Public Relations

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