A few mere blocks away from Boise State, a huge building asserts itself in the Boise skyline for those driving into the downtown area. After years of construction, Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) facility was completed enough to be used by Dec. 2015. However, despite its impressive looks, many students and Boise community members alike have expressed confusion as to what the building is for, and if they can interact with it at all.
JUMP is a downtown venue that Boiseans can only rent out a facility if the event serves a purpose to impact the community. This means that they do not host weddings, private parties, or dances. For students, as long as the event has a true mission, Boise State University—being a non-profit—will get 25 percent off their total renting price.
According to Community Engagement Director Kathy O’Neill, students are encouraged to take advantage of the building.
“(You) have to come and experience JUMP in order to really understand (what it’s all about),” O’Neill said. For now, the lobby and parts of the outside areas are open to the community. However, the uncompleted amphitheater and park sections should be completely finished and open for public use by the end of the year.
According to O’Neill, perhaps one of the easiest ways for students to utilize JUMP is to take advantage of the five studios that make up the space. The activities are constantly changing, the prices always vary and they are all usually offered for all ages.
The first is called Make Studio, which is a workshop that teaches woodworking while using a 3D printer and laser cutters. Boise State students can come in on Saturdays for the workshop classes.
The Play studio is a multimedia studio. Here, JUMP offers classes in the podcast station, the digital editing studio (for post-production, Photoshop and Adobe software) and the green screen. On Saturdays, the studio is open to help people with their personal projects.
The Share studio is a cooking facility. Most of the time the community reaches out to JUMP, whether it’s a restaurant or individual with some culinary talent, and offers to teach a cooking class.
The Inspire Studio is usually free and is there to unite community members.
Lastly, the Move Studio focuses on exercise. Makena McGrath, a freshman kinesiology major, recently attended a “sparkle yoga” event there.
“Putting glitter on and doing yoga was so creative and fun,” McGrath said. Kendall, a freshman elementary education major, chimed in as well.
“The instructor was very calming, and the facilities were really modern and clean,” Kendall said.
According to O’Neill, the JUMP project began with J.R. Simplot buying 110 tractors with the idea of creating an agricultural museum. Quickly, the Simplots realized tractor museums don’t always impact communities, and the project was transitioned into a non-profit creative center privately funded by the Simplot Foundation.
Today, 50 of Simplot’s tractors are displayed around the venue, which is meant to inspire people to think about how things were done in the past and what has changed. According to O’Neill, the title ‘JUMP’ is more literal than figurative.
“JUMP is a metaphor for leaving the ground behind you—to get out of your comfort zone,” O’Neill said. “You get lost easily, which is by design, because you discover something new around every corner.”
JUMP is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, check out JUMP’s website, jumpboise.org.