Charrette Results are in!

design photoOn September 27, the Community Center Committee (CCC) hosted a charrette, inviting Fair Family to analyze and brainstorm about the size and programs for the proposed Community Center.

In preparation for the meeting, background information about the proposed Community Center was and still is posted on our documents page.

The OCF Board of Directors (BOD) has tasked the CCC with researching the building of a community center. The committee, with much help from Fair Family, has done a tremendous amount of work so far. The next step in the process would be to apply for a land use permit or Special Use Permit (SUP). For the SUP application, we will need to include size, location and functions of the community center, as well as good planning for traffic, sound, etc. to minimize any impacts on our neighbors. If the BOD chooses to apply for the SUP, it will then be up to the County Land Use Department to determine if it agrees to a community center with an upland kitchen on our site.

The charrette had a good turnout of about 30-40 people with lots of positive energy. There was a variety of representation from staff, volunteer crews, vendors, elders and BOD members. With such a diverse group, there was speculation that the day might hold more conflict than resolution.

Our time together was spent in small groups and frequently getting back together in a large group to report out our ideas.
The questions posed during the charrette were:

  • What size should the indoor space be?
  • What size should the kitchen be, both indoor and outdoor?
  • What size should the covered outdoor space be and to a lesser extent the uncovered outdoor space?
  • What should the program for the community center usage look like?

Participants were split up into six groups, with each group having the opportunity to respond to each of the four questions. Through discussion, sketching, charts and pictures, the groups dove into the topics in a tangible, meaningful way. Each break out team then reported back to the larger group after each of the separate rounds was completed.

Interestingly, groups organically built on what other groups had reported back in previous sessions; sometimes with polar disagreement but much more often with compromise and harmony. The size of the kitchen was one question that had little variation in what attendees felt would be best. Incidentally, the kitchen size recommended at the charrette was the same size as originally positioned in the Pivot report created last year, and now posted on the community center website.

The question of size also spawned a great deal of creative thought and ideas about how a building might be positioned, including everything from modular sections that could be closed off for most of the year to an octagon that would rotate throughout the day on a dais.

At the end of the day, participants had a better sense of what might work well for our site and our community. This output was then collected by the Community Center Committee.

At the next two CCC meetings, members reviewed all of the charrette materials. Once we documented the range of responses, we realized the conclusions were for the most part not significantly different. We used an averaging methodology and came up with the following results:

Indoor: 2600 sq ft meeting space. 1400 sq ft auxiliary support space. 4000 sq ft total.
Kitchen: 3000 sq ft indoor and 1250 sq ft outdoor kitchen. 4250 sq ft total.
Outdoor covered: 3000 sq ft.

As the size of the uncovered outdoor space is not needed to apply for the SUP, we separated those numbers and will use them later when looking at the Community Center footprint within the fair site.

After reviewing our work, we found the overall square footage numbers from the charrette are close, albeit slightly smaller than the numbers originally proposed with help from Fair Family, Fair Staff, and local professionals. With confidence in our direction, the numbers from the charrette will function as the basis of our recommendation to the OCF Board of Directors as we continue planning efforts for the SUP.

The Community Center Committee would like to thank the many people who have given their time and energy to help us get to this part of the planning process. It is a complicated endeavor. Past input is very much appreciated and continued input from the Fair Family is important. The future is bright for our Country Fair community!

Additional details can be reviewed in the Committee’s report to the Board: Nov2014BOD Report

To contact the CCC directly, please email ccc@oregoncountryfair.org.