Archive

ShareThis Page
Expansion in Squirrel Hill excites Friendship Circle | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Expansion in Squirrel Hill excites Friendship Circle

ptrFriendshipcircle02111314
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
Becca Friedman, left, 15, of Murrysville, plays with her buddy Barcha Daren, 12, of Squirrel Hill, while volunteering during the Friendship Circle's cooking club at the Yeshiva Girls School in Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.
ptrFriendshipcircle01111314
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
Micah Rabin, 17, of Squirrel Hill, playfully holds her buddy Zane Zeff, 6, of Squirrel Hill, while volunteering during the Friendship Circle's cooking club at the Yeshiva Girls School in Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.
ptrFriendshipcircle03111314
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
Jeremy Elias, left, 19, of Friendship, gets some assistance chopping olives from his buddies Nina Dater, middle, 17, of Squirrel Hill, and Rachel Adelsheimer, 17, of Squirrel Hill, while making a macaroni salad during the Friendship Circle's cooking club at the Yeshiva Girls School in Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.
ptrFriendshipcircle04111314
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
Volunteers Ilyse Silverman, left, 16, of Fox Chapel, and Lauren Levy, right, 15, of Squirrel Hill, talk to their buddy Cece Robinson, 18, of Fox Chapel, during the Friendship Circle's cooking club at the Yeshiva Girls School in Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.
ptrFriendshipcircle05111314
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
Jordan Rabner, 15, of Shadyside, holds her buddy Zane Zeff, 6, of Squirrel Hill, while volunteering during the Friendship Circle's cooking club at the Yeshiva Girls School in Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.
FriendshipCircleexteriorrendering2014
Submitted
Architects offered this rendering of the planned facade of the former Gullifty's restaurant in Squirrel Hill, which will become home to Friendship Circle, a program for special needs children.

Interior demolition of the former home of Gullifty’s restaurant in Squirrel Hill wrapped up this week as architects released renderings for the building’s new occupant, Friendship Circle.

“We really want to grow in this space,” Executive Director Rabbi Mordy Rudolph said.

Established by the city’s Jewish community in 2006, Friendship Circle staff and volunteers coordinate home visits and classes for roughly 140 children with special needs all over the city.

“Right now we rent space for everything we do — winter camps, holiday programs, Sunday circles, the bowling league, gymnastics club, cooking club,” Rudolph said. “It’s just a big strain on our staff to schlep all over the city, set it all up and take it all down.”

With the space, the program’s seven staff members, 30 program workers, 300 teen volunteers and 200 alumni will have a central meeting place for, if nothing else, friendly conversation.

Like its forebear, the 10,000 square feet of space will be anchored by a kitchen.

Activity will revolve around a first-floor kitchen and performance stage with ample space for clubs and lounging. The second floor will feature work pods, a play area for younger children, a lounge for parents, executive offices and conference space. Architects designed a garden and outdoor recreation space on the roof.

“We wanted to go beyond basic disability accommodations like an elevator and larger bathrooms,” said Stuart Horne, of Seigle Solow & Horne Architects. “This building is great, but it didn’t have a yard, so we’re making our own.”

Split between a greenhouse and play space, he said the roof will incorporate a retractable netting system for kids to play ball safely “without feeling like they’re in a giant play pen if they just want to hang out outside.”

Architects are seeking LEED certification for the project, Horne said. Rudolph estimated the cost at around $4 million, all funded by a $6 million capital campaign.

“More than anything, we wanted to create a casual space in a more convenient location for all our kids,” Rudolph said. “We’ve been operating about eight years, but the organization is really in its infancy.”

Construction will begin in earnest at the first of the year, he said. The two-story structure at 1922 Murray Ave. is scheduled to open in 2015.

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.