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Fairview community center gets back to its roots with reopening

by: John Klicker, Julia Bulfin, executive assistant for the city of Fairview, shows off the sheen of the hardwood floors in the newly renovated community center on Harrison Street. Bulfin has heard stories about where people’s desks were when the building was City Hall. The former grange site is available for gatherings.

FAIRVIEW - Fairview officials are planning an open house on March 5 to showcase the newly renovated community center on Harrison Street.

The three-year construction project to turn the former City Hall site into a community amenity cost $540,000, 58 percent of which came from federal grants for community development.

The building boasts shiny, hardwood floors upstairs in a room that can hold 89 people, while the downstairs is carpeted and has a maximum occupancy of 102. Both rooms have full kitchen areas with a sink, stove, coffee pots, microwave and refrigerator, and long tables and chairs are on site.

Joe Gall, Fairview city administrator, said the facility has been used for a volunteer recognition event, by a church group and for a birthday party.

It could also see use from non-profit and senior groups, and as a spot for recreation classes, dances, political rallies and the like. In other words, the building is getting back to its roots.

The center, on the corner of Harrison and Third, was originally built in 1927 at a cost of $4,000, and used as a grange. In 1960, the grange was disbanded, and the city bought the building for $360. The City Hall on 223rd Avenue was demolished in 1979, prompting the city government to relocate to the former grange hall.

City staff members vacated the property in 2000 after the current City Hall in Fairview Village was completed.

The community center renovation began in 2003 with the purchase of additional land. Third Street was extended the next year, and the Bonita Jenkins Plaza was built. It is named for the city's sergeant-at-arms and longtime volunteer who died in 2003.

'The completion of the renovation of the community center, along with the Bonita Jenkins Plaza, represents both a recognition and commitment by the city to the citizens of Fairview, and especially to the historic Fairview area and those who live there,' Mayor Mike Weatherby said in a prepared statement.

Improvements included landscaping and entrance work, as well as a remodel of the interior. Construction wrapped up in January 2006.

Citizens and community groups interested in using the center for meetings and other activities can call 503-674-6224. Applications for use and fee schedules are available at City Hall or www.ci.fairview.or.us.

The open house will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 5.