The town of Chinook, Washington and southern-most Pacific County previously had no public or community building to offer outreach, educational, cultural, recreational and/or emergency activities to the community. Children, elders, and the disabled traveled long distances to seek support from community agencies. There was limited space in our surrounding communities for sports activities and no space in Chinook. Due to the lack of gym space, organized sports and especially sports for girls and young children was limited. During the devastating storm in 2007 Chinook did not have a central area for emergency management and the realities about the need for a centralized facility during a disaster became more than evident.
Historically the residents of Chinook and neighboring communities used the elementary school facilities for a meeting and gathering place. The classrooms of the school were also used as education and training spaces for non-profits and social services. But when we began, only the ball fields could safely remained open. Both the school and gymnasium had deteriorated to the point that they could not be used. With limited formal activities and resources; the community needed a facility for not only adults but our children.
The main school building is now called the Community Building and is also being used for the Chinook Food Bank, and is available to rent. The Gym is now an Event Center and provides a community space for weddings, family gathering, sports, and more. It is available for rental as part of the projects sustainability plan.