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 Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation plans new campus at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory


Tampa, FL (January 2012) -- The Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation has announced plans to create a new state-of-the-art Tampa JCC South Campus at the former Fort Homer Hesterly Armory.


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Fort Homer Hesterly Armory

The approximately 75,000 square foot building will be completely renovated to house a new community center that will include a broad array of recreational, educational and cultural programs to serve both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities and contribute significantly to increasing the quality of life for those living in the nearby neighborhoods.  Free JCC memberships will be offered for the first year to those living in the surrounding area and ongoing discounts and special opportunities will be made available to all greater Tampa area U.S. military veterans. 

Armory Site Plan

The JCC & Federation is currently in the process of consulting with various members of the community to ensure the building is put to its highest and best use.  Based on the results of these consultations, the organization will kick off a special capital campaign to fund the renovations.  The entire process is anticipated to take 12 months.

  "It is wonderful to restore life to an iconic building, and a project like this that can re-energize our inner city is a welcome addition," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.


“I am so excited to see a Jewish Community Center return to South Tampa after over a decade without one.”  says David Scher, co-chair of the JCC South Campus Project with Sam Linsky, “This Center will serve the needs of the Jewish Community and its neighbors in so many positive ways. I am proud to be associated with this project.


The Fort Homer Hesterly Armory is a facility with a rich and remarkable history.  The Armory sits atop a site that is historic in and of itself.  During the summer of 1898, Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders used the open land as their campsite in the days leading up to the Spanish-American War.  Events that have been held there over the years include speeches by President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performance by Elvis Presley and Nat King Cole and it served as a premier site for championship wrestling during the 60s and 70s.


The Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation’s mission is to support and enrich the continuity of Jewish life and values in the community, in Israel, and worldwide.  An important component of this mission is to improve the quality of life in the community for everyone who lives here – Jewish and non-Jewish. The organization will continue to operate and enhance the Jewish Community Center in Citrus Park on the beautiful 22-acre Maureen and Douglas Cohn Jewish Community Campus offering such services as a preschool, summer camp, after-school care, fitness facilities, a swimming pool and the Weinberg Village senior assisted-living community.  There are approximately 26,000 Jewish people living in the greater Tampa area and all services are available to anyone regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.


For more information about the project, please contact Jack Ross, Executive Director of the Tampa Jewish Community Center at 813-769-4727 or .


Read about the project in the news: