Castle Rock to hold meeting for future use of Exhibit Hall

Stephen Floyd


Community leaders in Castle Rock are preparing a Task Force to explore possible future uses for the Exhibit Hall Building after the structure became vacant on May 31.

Owned by the city, the building had been home to the Exhibit Hall Society's collection of memorabilia and artifacts representing the city's long agricultural and logging history, as well as its connection to Mt. St. Helens.

After the Exhibit Hall Society closed in May, primarily due to difficulties related to funding and volunteer challenges, the building has been largely unused, and community members are hoping to find a way it may once again serve the city.

Meetings are scheduled for this Wednesday, from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Exhibit Hall (147 Front Ave NW) with time for orientation and a work session. Community Activist Nancy Chennault has been appointed by the City Council to facilitate these discussions and report back to officials.

All individuals and organizations are invited to attend, including community groups, city officials and staff, businesses and churches, as well as those no longer within the community who still wish to see Castle Rock grow and succeed. Expected to be discussed are the need for the utilities and insurance on the building to be paid, which had been funded in part by Exhibit Hall Society donations as well as dwindling funds from the city's hotel/motel taxes, plus the proximity of the building to a proposed Visitor's Center at Exit 49, which some fear will be a deterrent from traveling into town for visitor info.

A second meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10 to follow up on conversations originating from this week's meeting, and further identify what uses could be employed at the space. Additional meetings may be held in mid-October, while a presentation to the City Council is expected for Dec. 8.

For more information, or to announce your plans to attend, contact Chennault at (360) 703-8174, or nancy@theplantstation.com.