Portland still needs funds to rebuild community center

Charlie Schmid works to move dirt at the site of the new Portland Community Building Wednesday afternoon. Community Association officials say they have the funds to put up the exterior of the new structure, but not to complete the project. The original building burned down on Aug. 13, 2010.

Charlie Schmid works to move dirt at the site of the new Portland Community Building Wednesday afternoon. Community Association officials say they have the funds to put up the exterior of the new structure, but not to complete the project. The original building burned down on Aug. 13, 2010. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

PORTLAND — On Aug. 13, 2010, the town lost both its most popular gathering space and a chunk of its history when the Portland Community Building burned to the ground.

Since it was built as a school in 1910, the building had served as a social center for Portland, a role it continued long after it made the transition from place of learning to the location of choice for funeral receptions, reunions, birthdays, fundraising and other gatherings.

A year after the fire, local leaders are tapping into the sense of community engendered there in order to rebuild. Wednesday afternoon, a small group of Portland Community Association board members gathered at the site to check progress on construction of the new building and share what still needs to happen before it can be completed and ready for use.

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