Photo above: A visiting AmeriCorps team installs the tile mosaic on ECEC’s new building, with help from student Nathan Falick. Photo courtesy Elkton Community Education Center

New building offers greater community access to healthcare; was designed and constructed in part by students from the center’s summer Youth Employment Program

Elkton, OR – March 16, 2023 – The Elkton Community Education Center (ECEC) will host a dedication and open house for their new building to house wellness services on April 1, 2023 beginning at 9am, with the tours for the public until 12pm. The new 1,100-square-foot building, designed and constructed in part by students who completed the organization’s summer Youth Employment Program (YEP), provides a model for rural communities to provide greater access to care in medically underserved areas. This new building serves a critical need in the region for connecting residents with healthcare services, while also providing flexible space for other community activities.

“With our new wellness initiative, we are adding the space to do things like host support groups for people living with chronic illnesses, train volunteers to help people register for public benefits, and schedule visiting nurses to fill other gaps in our residents’ access to wellness services,” said Marjory Hamann, Executive Director of the Elkton Community Education Center. “The space also has been equipped with the latest technology so community members can have remote access to medical, wellness and healthcare providers.”

The building includes: a 460-square-foot, multi-use conference room equipped with presentation and conferencing technology; five ADA accessible, gender-neutral bathrooms, including two with roll-in showers; and indoor storage space. The conference room allows ECEC to offer expanded site rental opportunities for a variety of uses and the bathrooms support the center’s new recreational field users and growing events programming.

Students who participated in the ECEC Youth Employment Program (YEP)and other local high school students were involved with the building project from the beginning. Students worked side by side with experienced professionals to generate CAD designs for the building, design the living roof and construct the building itself. The YEP program was funded in part by The Roundhouse Foundation, which supports creative solutions to the unique challenges in rural communities.

“The Elkton Community Education Center’s Youth Employment Program provides young people with essential work experience, while also providing a positive economic impact on this rural community,” said Erin Borla, executive director and trustee of The Roundhouse Foundation. “We are thrilled to see some of the program’s students put their skills to work on the new wellness building. It is a true illustration of how these kinds of programs can work together to support rural communities in our state.”

In addition to modeling better rural healthcare access and community collaboration, the new building incorporates multiple green-building techniques, one of the only sustainable construction examples in the region. A few of the features include a gray water system to irrigate landscaping; a “living roof” to provide noise and temperature insulation; tiles made from recycled plastic; and educational signage  to educate people about sustainable building techniques.

Advisors for this project included staff from OHSU, Aviva Health and the Roseburg Family Medical Residency program. Funding from the Ralph W. Naito MD Foundation also secured an AmeriCorps RARE member to conduct community outreach, organize an initial round of services and develop a sustainable funding model for the wellness initiative’s ongoing programming. Building construction was funded by the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, The Ford Family Foundation, and local donors.

About Elkton Community Education Center
The Elkton Community Education Center (ECEC) is a year-round community center and a summer tourist destination in rural Douglas County, Oregon. The center’s 30-acre site features: a popular butterfly pavilion; life-size replica of a historic trading fort; native plant nursery and produce garden; recreational fields for local sporting teams and events; a library; and the new wellness initiative. Each summer, ECEC provides job training and employment to local high school students who give tours, maintain the gardens, run a produce stand and manage a seasonal café, and learn construction skills.

Published On: March 16th, 2023 / Categories: Featured Grant Stories, Grant News /