"The Bob"

Darren Gooch of the Bob Chisholm Community Center in Seaside. 

The Bob Chisholm Community Center has been a hub of community activity for well over 30 years now. The building was originally part of the local Catholic Parish and later became the property of the city of Seaside. The exact dates of that transaction vary depending on who you ask, but it seems that the facts in the matter are, for the time being, lost to our communal memory.

The original building, known then as the Seaside Community Center, reminded me of a saltine cracker box laid on its side. What we know today as the “main hall” was the totality of the building. It was a multi-purpose space that was a gymnasium with a small kitchen, office, and a bathroom. The building functioned as a meeting and small event space for things like weddings, birthday parties, family reunions, and a variety of city department functions.

The year 1994 was a turning point for the center. It was that year when then Public Works Director, Bob Chisholm, pressed City Council members to allocate the needed dollars to renovate and expand the building. By the following year the construction concluded and the center had easily doubled in size, adding a commercial kitchen, two meeting rooms, a day room, and a good sized office. Two years later, in August of 1997, Bob Chisholm died attempting to save a man drowning in the surf just off of the Seaside beach. It was shortly after that event that the City Council voted to approve the dedication of the building in Bob’s memory.

Fast forward to today and the center has just completed a substantial renovation of the Main Hall. The hall received only the most modest treatment during the 1994 expansion and was in need of a complete refresh. The acoustics have improved dramatically and the lighting is amazing. The new flooring materials and wall treatments have all come together to create a dramatic space, perfect for special occasions. If you haven’t visited in a while, stop by and see how beautiful the new space is.

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

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