Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Neighbors Dream of Reiche’s Future
By Jo Coyne

More than 60 participants gathered on Saturday, September 30, to dream and draw their vision for Reiche Community Center. Led by Alan Holt, of Holt and Lachman Architects / Designers, local residents, city and school officials and other stakeholders reviewed the history and mission of Portland’s various neighborhood centers before touring the Reiche facility.

Working in teams, participants brainstormed the center’s pluses and minuses. With support from professional architects and student facilitators from the Muskie School of Public Service, each team then developed a wish list for Reiche. Drawing on maps of the existing center, participants created sketches and diagrams of their team’s vision for the center. Strategies for implementing proposed changes were listed and then posted along with the sketches and other materials that had been created onto oversize pieces of foam core.

Participants chatted over a continental breakfast and a working lunch and energy levels were high. Enthusiasm for the day’s work was apparent as teams gathered together during the final hour to share their results. Striking similarities emerged. All teams envisioned welcoming and commanding entrances, an elevator to replace existing ramps, a glass atrium and a roof garden. A desire for green, energy-efficient development was expressed by all, along with expanded aquatic, library and health services. Teams enlarged the overall space in a variety of ways, creating unique program areas.

Attendees and many neighborhood residents unable to attend the workshop can see a formal presentation of Community Design Workshop outcomes. The report will be given at the November 8 meeting of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA), 6:30 p.m., at Reiche Community Center.


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