The Jewish landscape of southeast suburban Denver is changing with the opening of the new South Metro Campus for Jewish Life at 6100 E. Belleview Ave. in Greenwood Village.
The sprawling campus, previously the home of Beacon Country Day School for some 60 years, is now an extension of Chabad Jewish Center of South Metro Denver in Lone Tree, founded and headed by Rabbi Avraham and Hindy Mintz.
Chabad Jewish Center purchased the abandoned five-acre property in June, 2018. Chabad remodeled the 23,000-square-foot building to house its Garden Preschool, Friendship Circle, Hebrew School, Gan Izzy Day Camp and adult education programs.
After extensive architectural and environmental testing and upgrades, the building now suits its new users. This is a $6 million project.
Unseen from but near Belleview and Monaco, the new center contains a large lobby and receiving area, offices and classrooms, each of which have been decorated with separate color schemes.
With the preschoolers in mind, each classroom has a miniature entry door for the children along with a standard entry door for adults. Each classroom has its own bathroom, also with scaled down facilities.
The building has a large gym that will multi-task as a playroom and assembly room.
Beacon Country Day School left equipment and furniture when it closed operations. Chabad Jewish Center has been able to repurpose much of that, and is donating what it cannot use.
The property has several playgrounds and many types of park-like spaces that have been licensed for outdoor classroom use.
There is even a stream on the campus.
Rabbi and Mrs. Mintz started Chabad Jewish Center of South Metro Denver in 2003, originally in a storefront.
By 2008, the center was attracting 400 people to its High Holiday services, so it purchased and remodeled a building near I-25 and Lincoln Ave. in Lone Tree, where it has held all its educational programming and Shabbat and holiday services and celebrations.
In the ensuing years, the organization has added programs such as Friendship Circle and CTeen, and hired youth directors, Rabbi Meir and Sarah Simon.
For now, Shabbat and holiday services will remain at the Lone Tree center.
Garden Preschool moved into its new home in time for the new academic year.
The new campus in Greenwood Village will enable the Mintzes and their staff of 17 “to give our future generations the best opportunity to be tomorrow’s leaders,” Rabbi Mintz puts it.