JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Bezalel School of Arts and Design plans to build an $80 million campus in downtown Jerusalem.
Proponents say the plans will help revive the city center. The first phase of the new campus plans has been completed and detailed plans are now being drawn up, Bezalel President Arnon Zuckerman, told JTA. Building is set to begin in the summer of 2011 and will take four years to complete. The academy is currently located on Mount Scopus. It will move to Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road.
The move is expected to strengthen the identity of Jerusalem as a cultural center as well as a historic center, bringing visitors and audiences to the heart of Jerusalem, Zuckerman said. It also will bring 3,000 students and 500 faculty members into downtown Jerusalem.
"We believe that the academy needs to be in an urban center and not isolated as it is now on a mountaintop," Zuckerman said.
He said the new building will enable interaction between creative disciplines and be accessible to the public.