UPDATE: Construction in the basement is complete and fantastic! Our beautiful new community meeting room is available to rent at very affordable rates — contact manager Chris Timberlake at email@example.com. Still to come – exterior paint and as many interior updates as we can squeeze out of the remaining grant money.
SMILE has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the City of Portland to rehabilitate the SMILE Station (SE 13th/Tenino).
Our beloved building exists today because years ago City leaders and neighborhood volunteers worked together to turn the former fire station into a community resource. Since then the SMILE Station has hosted hundreds of community meetings, neighborhood events and family celebrations. In recent years the old building has started to show its age with a leaking roof, basement flooding and inadequate HVAC. This generous grant is funding needed upgrades to ensure the SMILE Station remains a place for neighborhood engagement and an affordable community gathering space for years to come.
So far the grant has paid for a new roof and gutters. Exterior painting and drainage improvements are in the works. SMILE has engaged an architect (Studio Coop) and a general contractor (Douglass Carpentry & Construction LLC) to handle the basement work. The lower level will house an office, meeting room, bathroom and secure storage. Once the basement work is complete we hope to have enough grant money remaining to upgrade the main level of the building. Fingers crossed!
In February neighborhood volunteers worked an entire weekend to clear out 30 years of “stuff” that had accumulated in every nook and cranny. Neighborhood historian Eileen Fitzsimmons arranged for SMILE records to be transferred to the City Archives where they will be professionally maintained, and is sorting through old photos and memorabilia to ensure nothing precious is lost.
NOTE: The Smile Station remains available for rental while basement construction is underway. Contact Chris Timberlake at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.