The Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of Texas began extensive renovations to its building just off-campus.

While it would be faster and less expensive to tear down and build anew, Rabbi Zev Johnson, co-director along with wife Ariela of the Austin landmark, said that they want the historic structure to retain its charm.

"It gives us character," said Johnson, who lives in the building with his family for Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

Planned refurbishments include bay windows, a coffee bar and a new social area.

A grant from the Rohr Family Foundation, BECO Management Properties and a slate of other donors made the project possible. ...