NIS 30m. environmental center to be built in J'lem

The 2,000-square-meter facility will focus on the academic study of sustainability.

Rendition: Robert Price Center for Environmental Studies 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Council for a Beautiful Israel)
Rendition: Robert Price Center for Environmental Studies 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Council for a Beautiful Israel)
Jerusalem will soon be home to an environmental studies institution from the Council for a Beautiful Israel, donated by a former deputy mayor of New York City.
Robert Price, an attorney who served as deputy mayor under John Lindsay in the late 1960s, gave a NIS 30 million naming grant to create the Council for a Beautiful Israel’s Robert Price Center for Environmental Studies.
The center will be located in the National Quarter, near the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus – which concentrates in the sciences – as well as the city’s major museums. The purpose of the center is to serve as an academic home for research into environmental protection, though in the future a visitor’s center will be open to the public.
The 2,000-square-meter facility will have two floors as well as classrooms, conference rooms, an auditorium and a rooftop observation deck with a view of Sacher Park.
Price, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Council for Beautiful Israel director Eshel Segal will hold a cornerstone laying ceremony on Tuesday morning.
Price, now 80, worked on John Lindsay’s election campaign for New York City mayor in 1966. Price also founded Price Telecom in 1981 and owned a number of different television and radio stations as well as the New York Law Journal.
Part of the council’s effort to create the learning center in the National Quarter is to encourage green building in the area home to government ministries and improve pedestrian access in a notoriously cement-filled, barren corner of the city.
Segal stressed that the planners carried out extensive environmental surveys to design a building that maximizes the use of natural light in order to cut down on electricity use.
Further greening the neighborhood, the Jerusalem Nature Museum, currently located in the German Colony, could also be a new neighbor, as the municipality is pushing a plan to relocate the museum to the National Quarter. The Nature Museum, which does community outreach and education, is opposed to the move and wants to stay in its current location in a more residential part of the city.
Nature Museum director Sydney Corcus said he was unfamiliar with the Price center but he supported all environmental organizations in the capital.
“If it’s another group that can help the issue of environment, it’s positive,” he said.