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With pandemic rules easing somewhat, this popular Community Center is again open to the public in Woodstock

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - The new Administrator at the front desk of the reopened Woodstock Community Center is Gail Budde. The Woodstock Community Center is open again, and bustling with energy and new classes and opportunities for all ages.

Since last December, its new Administrator has been Gail Budde, who knows well both Portland Parks & Recreation, and the Woodstock neighborhood. In the 1990s and early this century she was Recreation Coordinator at Fulton Community Center, and later was Coordinator at the Citywide Dance Program. Her family lived in Woodstock until 2013, taking part in many team sports and ballet. She says they still think of the area as their home.

Her B.A. in Recreation and Parks led her to work as a Recreation Therapist after college. Later she was engaged in homeless outreach, taught preschool, led summer camps, helped coordinate homeschool co-ops, and worked on event coordination for a youth theater group.

As for the programs that have restarted at the Woodstock Community Center, Budde tells THE BEE there will be a full summer of week-long camps for 3-5 year olds at the WCC. The first four camps have all been filled — All That Glitters, Rainbow Days, Space Adventures, and Outdoor Explorers. But, a second set of four camps -- Under the Sea, Things that Go, Silly Science, and Down on the Farm — just opened for registration on June 27th.

The ever-popular Woodstock Taekwondo classes, with highly qualified instructors experienced in working with both youth and adults, began in late June and will end in late September. Ages 6 and up can join a beginning class for five Fridays, 6-7 p.m. for $28. For the more experienced, classes will be on Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for $35. For more details, go online — www.woodstocktaekwondo.com

Yoga fitness classes will be on Wednesday afternoons, 5:30-6:45 p.m. Budde reports, "Our instructor has years of experience teaching dance and fitness for PP&R, and we are thrilled to have her back."

Half-hour sessions of "Messy Art" — including shaving cream painting and slime (!) for 18 months to 4-year-olds will be offered on Tuesday mornings by Gail Budde — it's for adults and children together. Budde says this class features "a lot of creative projects that little people love."

Fall classes are still being decided. "We are talking with teachers currently about class proposals for fall. If anyone in the neighborhood has a class they would like to teach, or knows of an outstanding teacher, we would love to hear from them!" says Budde. Guitar, Capoeira (a Brazilian fusion of martial arts and dance), more fitness classes, dance for children, and visual arts are all possibilities.

During May and June a few community groups used the building, including Urban Forestry, Key Bank WCC cleanup volunteers, and a PP&R BIPOC Partner organization. A music recital is on the schedule, and the large room is reserved on Wednesdays for Woodstock Neighborhood Association meetings.

"We would like to see the building used as much as possible by the community. If anyone is interested in renting the building, or using it for community groups, they should reach out. It may be possible to accommodate rentals Monday through Saturday during daytime and evening hours," remarks Budde.

The WCC has a spacious "mirror room" that can be used for off-site retreats or staff training for businesses or organizations. The North Room and the classroom, combined, create space for a medium sized party, family gathering, or event. The current standard fee for a private rental is $25 per hour, or a variable, depending on staffing.

The fall Pre-K (4-5 year olds) preschool program is already full. Tuesday/Thursday class for 3-year-olds had one spot left as of mid-June.

For a full description of classes and events at the Woodstock Community Center, see the PP&R catalog that is mailed to city residents, or go online — www.portland.gov/parks


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