New Brandeis school library inspires students of the book

To welcome the new buildings, several rabbis, together with the faculty, board and student body will assemble for a Hanukkat Ha'Bayit — a dedication of a new home. A blow of the shofar along with singing from the school's choir will sound out the occasion.

The school is experiencing its largest enrollment ever — accommodating more than 290 students — and it's embarking on a three-to-five-year renovation project.

"We need the facility to catch up with the program," said Rabbi Henry Shreibman, head of school.

The new library sits in the center of campus, symbolizing the position of the Torah, which is placed in the center of some traditional synagogues.

"To have Torah, learning and technology in the center of campus is visually, symbolically and in reality a lot of what our mission is about," Shreibman said.

Construction on the $400,000 library — which was financed by an internal fund-raising effort — began early this summer and was completed on a Friday, three days before the school opened this fall. So the day before opening, the staff and board gathered to transport books to make sure the library would be ready.

"People really rolled up their sleeves to make this happen. It was an incredible effort," Shreibman said.

The two additional classrooms bring back to campus many middle-school students who studied in a rented space a few buildings away. All the new facilities are equipped with Internet access.

The new structures mark the first stage of a $10 million building project. As the project proceeds, the school seeks to improve all the classroom spaces as well as build a new main building, a technology center, a courtyard and an art room.

"The site we are on evolved over the years without plan. Now we want to plan to meet challenge of students over the next 20 years," Shreibman said.

"The new space is beautiful," he added. "The children are very excited. The first day of school was absolutely electric; the kids were touching the library and parents were ogling it."