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Inviting people in


The Powell Butte Community Center members have hopes of getting the community to take advantage of the building

by: KEVIN SPERL - Linda Sawyer stands in the Great Room of the Powell Butte Community Center.

The Powell Butte Community Center is hosting an open house with the hopes of starting a conversation about its future.

“We are really concerned about what is happening to our community center and are inviting the public to come with their ideas about what they would like to see happen here,” said board member Linda Sawyer.

Built in 2004, the building, located at 8404 Reif Rd., is owned by the Powell Butte Farmers Club.

Sawyer feels that the public’s perception is that the building is limited to use by local farmers, and it is a myth she is working hard to dispel.

“We would like to see every part of the community use this building,” she said. “We want to include the outlying communities of Prineville, Redmond and Bend as well.”

It’s a time of transition for the center, as its current chairman, Art Proctor, is retiring, and recording secretary Barbara Lundquist, who will stay on as a board member, is looking to pass on her current responsibilities to others.

In addition to Sawyer, Proctor and Lundquist, board members include Dennis Marston, Melba Carter, Anne Greenwood and Dennis Merrill.

Sawyer hopes that those attending the open house will show an interest in joining the board, bringing with them expertise to help redefine the purpose of the center.

“I would hope that the meeting encourages people to state their positive approaches to the building as well,” said Sawyer.

The large building offers a spacious great room with high ceilings, a smaller alcove for meetings, and two private conference rooms. There is also a large kitchen stocked with two refrigerators, a freezer, microwave and a kitchen range.

The building is currently used by three exercise groups. One group meets on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., and Zumba classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. as well as on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m.

Sawyer noted that there has also been interest shown by a local ukulele group and a knitting club.

“We also have a group of old time fiddlers here every second Sunday of the month from noon until 4,” she said. “The event is open to the public and includes dancing and jam sessions.”

A 2013 strategic plan identified four areas in which the board hopes to improve the center, including capital improvements, new activities, funding and daily operational issues.

Capital improvements include irrigation, landscaping, walking and bicycle paths, and a recreation field for sports. Sawyer hopes that the center will begin to offer programs and services that meets the needs of the community, including 4H, scouting, picnics and social events such as movie nights.

Driving into the parking lot, there is visible evidence of efforts to spruce up the grounds. A fresh lawn has been seeded, courtesy of donated labor and materials from Dave Kimmel, Art Proctor and Barbara Lundquist.

For Sawyer, the center’s future begins with the open house.

“I want to emphasize that we are user friendly and eager and willing to work with people,” she said. “We are inviting people in.”

The Powell Butte Community Center open house takes place on Tuesday, July 1, at 7 p.m. at 8404 Reif Road in Powell Butte. Contact Linda Sawyer via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.