Makeover begins, at Rosewood Community Center

It won’t be long until its ‘new home’ is ready – take a look at the progress …

This, the former location of Cue’s Billiards, is being cleaned up – and being turned into the Rosewood Community Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
To many Centennial Community Association neighbors – who have been suffering for years because unsavory activities outside of Cue’s Billiards, at 16126 SE Stark Street – the store’s closing came as a relief.

But now, this space is becoming much more. It’s the new home of the Rosewood Community Center.

Rosewood Initiative Executive Director Jenny Glass says the new community space will soon be ready for use.

“We’re having a ‘community painting party’ today,” said Rosewood Initiative Executive Director Jenny Glass on April 6. “We’re getting our community space ready for use. It looks like we have about a dozen volunteers here today.”

Volunteers support Rosewood because “volunteers define Rosewood”, Glass told East Portland News. “Without volunteers, Rosewood would not exist. These are people from the community, and they are partners. Together, they make Rosewood what it is.”

Glass reminded that she’s been involved in doing community and public safety organizing in the area that straddles the mid-County section of Portland and Gresham since 2009. “Together, the volunteers are making a real, positive difference.”

Jeffery Garrett shows Charles Hysaw that a volunteer doesn’t have to be an adult to help out.

After painting, Glass said they’ll be installing new floor covering. “And we’ll do some minor remodeling and repair work on the lighting, heating, and air-conditioning systems.”

As far as programming the space, Glass said, “Hopefully, our partners will be using this space every day. We’ll have lots of fun stuff going on. And, we’re looking forward to opening up the coffee shop, with volunteer baristas from the community.”

Four the dozen volunteers at the “work party” paint the interior, freshening the look of the new Rosewood Community Center.

One of the volunteers at the event was Portland Police Bureau Lt. John Scruggs, along with his daughter.

“I came to help make the Rosewood Community Center a viable place,” Scruggs explained.

“Thompson Morrison, the CEO of a software company called Fuse Insight and I were here at the beginning,” Scruggs went on. “We walked around the neighborhood, trying to come up with ideas that would encourage people to get more involved. The idea was to build a sense of community. This became ‘Rosewood’.”

John Scruggs gets help from his daughter, eighth-grader Madison Scruggs.

Even though he started the project as a sergeant – and was promoted, and moved into North Precinct some time ago, Scruggs said, “I care about Rosewood. I’m still on the board; because I think in this important thing to do. I’m going to continue to do that even though I don’t ‘work’ here now.”

His daughter, Madison Scruggs, said she was happy to help too. “I think this is a good idea, because it helps get kids off the street, while building the community.”

Her dad followed up, “Yes, I continue to really believe in this project.”

Stay in touch with The Rosewood Initiative through their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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