I walked into the building one morning a couple of weeks ago, letting the door close silently behind me. All of the lights were still off, but little beams of sunlight streamed in through the windows, illuminating little patches of the carpet. I stopped short for a moment in the quiet of the morning, reflecting on the many times I have done this in the past and all of the changes that have occurred since the first day I walked into this building almost 16 years ago.

I stared into the main hall for a few moments, in awe at what my Community Center Commission members have accomplished. Nine people from very different backgrounds who have come together to rally around a common cause: to leave a lasting legacy for their community. Over the years we have lost a few members, notably Doris Snodgrass and more recently Greta Passetti. It always hurts to lose such great people and that little bit of community center history.

Invariably, as one door closes, another one opens and we have moved forward, adding some younger visionaries to our commission. Our current chairperson, Kristin Kabanuk, joined us in 2017 and has brought with her a high level of enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. Jordan Virding and Julia Weinberg are our most recent additions, filling vacancies left by Greta’s passing and Lou Neubecker’s departure from the commission several months ago. Lou was a driving force in our fundraising campaign for the Main Hall Refresh Project completed earlier this year.

As I stood reflecting on all that has passed, I thought too of all that is yet to come. The main hall refresh isn’t a stopping point in the work to be done here at the center, but a step toward bigger and better things. The commission spent some time in a special work session this past spring, looking at a bigger picture and establishing a next step for the Bob Chisholm Community Center. The main hall project was only Phase I of a much larger master plan.

Phase II, as envisioned by the commission members, encompasses the exterior of the building and addresses the much disdained stucco facade. Stucco on the coast, really? Our commissioners looked at many different design ideas and have developed some thoughts as to what materials will provide the best look and longevity to our fantastic facility.

As the next phase is rolled out over the next couple of years, commission members will look to community members for their support. Supporters who donate $500 or more to any of our projects are forever memorialized with a bronze leaf on our donor tree. The tree is  being designed by local artist Jeremy Furnish and slated to be installed sometime in September.

The Community Center Commission is always open to feedback and the community is invited to attend commission meetings, at 10 a.m. the first Tuesday of every month in the conference room at the Bob.

Every month, The BOB will bring you information on current events and items of interest here at the center. See you next month!

Darren Gooch is the marketing and IT manager for the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.

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