We don’t quibble with anyone who believes JUMP is an acronym created to unpack the words “Jack’s Urban Meeting Place,” and thus is presented as a noun, a new entry on the Boise skyline that is meant to tempt our senses of creativity and the imagination to come hither.
But if you’ve had a gander at this whimsical building or been there a few times during its construction under the watchful eye of the J.R. Simplot Foundation, you’ll know that JUMP is, in fact, a verb.
And a state of mind. An escape. A place to give permission to try some things out and then, perhaps, plot a new path for your future.
That is what the Simplot family had in mind as it planned a place that not only paid homage to the agricultural heritage of potato pioneer Jack Simplot — dozens of vintage tractors occupy display areas everywhere — but also saluted his passion and entrepreneurial spirit.
Besides being an interesting, attractive and engaging expression of architecture in Downtown Boise, JUMP is likely to offer the most public access of any building erected so far this century.
Executive Director Maggie Soderberg promises that the $70 million JUMP — between 9th and 11th and Front and Myrtle streets — will “be driven by integrating the passion of our community directly into our programming.”
That includes a number of creative studios. One is aimed at all things culinary and could host cooking classes or competitions. Another is tooled up for “makers” who want to build or create things — and even includes a 3-D printer. There are media and dance studios, exhibit areas, amphitheaters, grand views through windows or from rooftop gardens and even a five-story slide.
In press materials that announce a series of open houses for the public to explore — 1 to 5 p.m every Sunday (beginning this Sunday) through the end of the month — Soderberg said JUMP was developed “with the guiding philosophy that we all have something meaningful to contribute.”
JUMP is there to stimulate and form those ideas so we can make those contributions to our community and our world.
Though there will be charges to use the facilities, it is important to remember that this is a nonprofit. The creators have constructed a venue without one specific purpose — to watch a movie, a sports event or some other attraction — but to experiment.
The heirs and associates of J.R. Simplot have created a place designed for self-discovery and, perhaps, mastery of some newly acquired skills.
JUMP is indeed a verb, a launching pad for discovery and a springboard for the imagination.
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