Powell Butte Visitor Center vandalized

Take a look at a senseless window-smashing spree that will shutter the center, for a time yet undetermined …

Last summer, the glass-and-steel wall was raised at the Powell Butte Visitor Center – in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood – just before its grand opening. East Portland News archive image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It was a happy day for many in outer East Portland, when the Powell Butte Visitor Center officially opened to the public on June 28, 2014. The massive front window-wall was retracted, exposing the educational exhibits inside.

> See our story about the opening of the Visitors Center: CLICK HERE.

Folks can still come to visit Powell Butte Nature Park, but the center is now boarded up after vandals smashed out nine windows.

Then, between 10:00 p.m. on July 17 and 6:00 a.m. on July 18, the Visitor Center at Powell Butte Nature Park was vandalized, sadly said Portland Water Bureau Public Information Officer Jaymee Cuti.

“Nine of the twelve windows were smashed,” Cuti reported. “An excavator onsite was also vandalized.”

Before being boarded up, the damage to the Visitor Center was clearly visible. PWB photo

Since the $590,000 Visitor Center was completed last year, its exterior features and public restroom, accessed from the exterior, have been open continuously, Cuti told East Portland News. “The interior was open on weekends last summer. Since last summer, work has continued inside the Visitor Center.”

But now, for the public’s safety, the Visitors Center has been taped off and the broken windows have been boarded up. The plaza area around the Visitor’s Center is still open, along with the restrooms for public use.

Its now unclear just when this beautiful Visitor Center can again receive visitors.

The cost to fix the smashed out windows has yet to be determined, nor has a timeline been set for its repair and reopening. “We’re evaluating different replacement options,” explained Cuti.

“We’re all very disappointed that someone would cause such senseless damage,” Cuti said.

> On our Front Page:
This PWB photo shows how the broken glass flew inside the Visitor Center

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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