Ground was first broken Aug. 29, 2010, for the new, three-pool complex at EKC’s campus along Cheat Lake in Morgantown, W.Va. The project was “100 percent funded by private contributions,” said Cathy Samuels, the Jewish Community Center’s director of marketing and communications. Those contributions, totaling $1.5 million, were anchored by a lead gift from John and Leatrice Wolf.
The pool complex was built around EKC’s preexisting pool, which merely “got a facelift,” said camp director Sam Bloom; that includes “two new, big time slides.” The new pools include a zero-entry pool and a deep diving well with two diving boards.
The entire complex can accommodate the entire camp of about 500 people, said Bloom.
Additional renovations can be found all over camp — a new basketball court, pavilion, volleyball court and improvements to the staff lounge.
The renovations were all part of a “masterplan that’s been in place for several years,” said Bloom.
With less than two weeks before campers arrive for the summer, EKC staff are in the final stages of preparation.
“The pools are done aside from some odds and ends. They’re usable now,” said Bloom. “The pavilion is the only thing that needs a touch up.”
Founded in 1908 as the Laurel Y (which became Emma Farm, then Lynwood Camp before being renamed EKC), the camp has become a popular summer camp destination for Pittsburgh Jewish children. Bloom said that extensive history is why the $1.5 million raised for renovations was solely garnered from private donations.
“We’ve been around for 102 years. There are a lot of people who’ve gone to this camp as campers and staff, and they’re committed to seeing it continue,” he said. “They’ve seen the need for facility enhancements, as many of the people who were once kids and staff here now send their kids.”
“We want to be the camp that goes and goes and goes,” said Bloom.
(Justin Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)