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A Giant JUMP Forward

Project is expected to create 1,000 jobs

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The long nights of contentious meetings with Boise's Design Review Committee in the fall of 2010 were a distant memory on March 22 as construction crews began the first phases of JUMP--Jack's Urban Meeting Place--which, when complete, will help redefine downtown Boise.

The 7.5-acre site, framed by Ninth, 11th, Front and Myrtle streets will include a 65,000-square-foot, six-story building and more than three acres of urban green space.

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The Simplot Family Foundation is footing the entire bill for the $70 million project as a tribute to their late patriarch, J.R. Simplot. JUMP will include interactive studios for what the family calls "cooking, creating and inventing, multimedia, movement and innovation."

The first order of business was the demolition of the old Compton warehouse at Ninth and Front streets.

"That building can't be there for us to begin," said Dan Drinkward of Hoffman Construction, the project's general manager. "Typically, 10 years ago, we would have demolished the building and sent the debris to a landfill, But Wade Lambert of Lambert Construction [who is overseeing the project] came up with a better idea, a more sustainable idea, and we're happy to support that."

Lambert's idea involved recycling the roof of the warehouse, which was once part of a 1940s stockyard. Crews are removing 40 panels, each weighing approximately 3,700 pounds, and transferring them for reuse in a new Caldwell facility.

JUMP construction is expected to commence as early as April and could be completed by summer 2014. In between, as many as 120 construction workers are expected to be on the site daily, with about 1,000 total jobs created through the overall project.

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