Robinwood Station, now official community center, prepares events for city teens

On Aug. 27, Robinwood Station officially opened its doors as a city-owned meeting hall, kicking off its roster of events with an end-of-summer picnic. Since then, the Station has hosted a birthday party, a garage sale fundraiser, and weekly “hula-hoop” nights. Randall Fastabend, president of Friends of Robinwood Station, is proud of the work that has been done with the space so far, but knows there’s a long road ahead.

“Eventually we want to see the space added on to,” Fastabend said. “But first, we need to demonstrate that there is a need for the space. That’s why we’ve established a Youth Board to determine what uses would be best for the youth of West Linn.”

The Youth Board, currently consisting of Kamon Bryck, Class of 2008, Riley Norby, junior, and myself, has the responsibility of organizing events for teens. Fastabend’s goal for the board is to create events that will interest and attract teens all over the community.

The Youth Board most recently met on Sept. 26, and has already planned a dance on Oct. 29 and a Magic the Gathering (a collectible card game, similar to Pokemon) tournament on Oct. 23. They hope to have several successful events in the next couple of months to establish a reputation for the space as a location where students can have fun.

“This space is for all of West Linn,” Fastabend said.

Robinwood Station was first built in 1964, back when Robinwood was an unincorporated community. It was used as a fire station and meeting hall for the neighborhood until West Linn annexed the area in 1968. Since then the space was used as a city fire station, then as storage by Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.

In 2010, when the Bolton neighborhood opened a new fire station, Fastabend and other members of the Robinwood neighborhood realized that their own fire station would no longer be used. It needed to be renovated and repurposed.

“We decided it needed to be a space the whole city can use,” Fastabend said. Fastabend then founded the Friends of Robinwood Station, a non-profit organization dedicated to turning the old firehouse into a community center.

In March of 2010, the Friends submitted its Temporary Use Application to the city so it could begin transitioning the space into a community center. In June of that year, the City Council voted unanimously to give the Friends the necessary funds to begin renovation. One year later, the Friends got an Occupancy Permit that allowed them to officially reopen and begin operations as a community center.

Many renovations have happened since then. The space now has new windows, a projector, and new lighting, thanks to an initial $1700 community grant. But the work isn’t done yet.

“Our hope is to make this space a showcase for green building in West Linn,” Fastabend said. “In order to do that, we need to secure funding in order to totally renovate the space.”

Now that the station is up and running, it has been used by a Cedaroak Park Primary School Lego robotics club, the West Linn Community Chorus, Cub Scouts, and the Robinwood Neighborhood Association. Currently, in addition to the events being planned by the Youth Board, the Friends are in negotiation with the city to have it be used for Parks and Recreation activities.

“We have a lot of room on our schedule,” Fastabend said, “and it’s space that is open to the whole city.”

Robinwood Station is located at 3706 Cedaroak Drive, West Linn, OR, 97068. For more information about requesting the space or volunteering, contact Randall Fastabend (randallfast[email protected]) or Anthony Bracco ([email protected]).

Lucy Newell, pre-kindergarten, hula hooping at Robinwood Station.