Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Property reconsidered for site of Jewish community center



By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

AMBERLEY VILLAGE - A 62-acre undeveloped piece of property in Amberley Village and Reading that had been rejected as a possible site for a new Jewish community center is getting another look.

Two weeks ago, the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati dropped the site from consideration because environmental engineers hired by the organization said it would cost $1.8 million to $3.8 million to eliminate methane gas from the part of the property in Amberley Village.

But a re-examination by other environmental engineers indicates that the cost of cleaning up the site might be much less, said Rabbi Michael Zedek, CEO of the Jewish Federation.

"If it turns out to be true, it may lead to another opportunity," Zedek said. "I remain hopeful about this site's ultimate suitability."

Parties involved in the project are evaluating the new information and may decide this week whether site is affordable, he said.

The methane gas comes from the decomposition of branches and other material. Until 1990, Amberley had used about two acres on the site for composting.

The community center project, which would cost $25 million to $30 million, will include a gym, fitness center, indoor swimming pool and more than six acres of athletic fields. The property lies between Hill Street, Ridge Road and the Ronald Reagan Highway.

If built at that site, the project would provide recreation for Amberley and Reading residents and for athletic teams of Reading and Mount Notre Dame high schools.

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E-mail skemme@enquirer.com




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