President’s article for May, 2016

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Safer, cooler, more convenient and more efficient. That’s how I would summarize our retrofitted and remodeled gym when it reopens in June.
Recently the members of the board of directors toured the construction site. Todd Tsudama, who has been spearheading the project, pointed out a long series of improvements and new features in the building. They will make the building more user-friendly and comfortable. I think everyone in the Sangha and the wider community will be pleased.
The project upgrades the seismic safety features of 60-year-old, two-story building. That’s important because tens of thousands of people use the facility every year for everything from Dharma School classes to Obon, judo practice to the Nikkei Matsuri. Specifically, the project adds a new seismic roof, plates to stitch the wall panels together and ceiling tie rods to connect the walls to the roof/ceiling.
But the project will also bring many other new features that will make the building feel like … new. Among them:
A new heating system and, for the first time, air conditioning throughout the building.
Larger restrooms. For example the women’s restroom will expand from two stalls to five stalls.
New sinks, cabinets, an icemaker and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen.
An elevator to the second floor and a handicapped lift for the stage.
Easily movable partitions (that are sound-proofed) separating the multi-purpose room and the gym.
New plumbing, electrical and gas lines that should resolve issues we have at Obon and other large events.
Acoustical ceiling and wall treatments.
View of the garden from the multi-purpose room.
The $5.4 million project is thanks to the hard work and contributions of many people. Hundreds of people in fact. So far more than 650 individuals and families have generously donated to the Generations campaign.
We are thankful for every contribution, from the dollars that Dharma School students collected in donation cans to the $500,000 donations from Ray and Lucy Matsumoto, and the Yuki Family Foundation.
As you know we are still more than $1 million short of the fundraising goal. If you haven’t donated, and even if you have, we need your help. Please consider making a contribution to the campaign.
In Gassho,

Dennis Akizuki