The crisp autumn air Oct. 19 lightly frosts the compacted ground of the Old Town Portola Event Center, located off of Commercial Street in Downtown Portola. The third, and most recently completed, panel of the mural lining the left side of the center depicts a WP 805-A engine, with a bald eagle soaring through mountain vistas. Photo by Lauren Westmoreland

Event center looks to the future

The Old Town Portola Event Center being created in Portola on Commercial Street has reached a pause point as the seasons change, but not without much work being completed throughout the summer.

According to Project Coordinator Chris David, fundraising efforts continue in an effort to beautify the area and create an attractive community venue.

The work that has been completed is the culmination of fundraising efforts, donations (financial and material), and volunteer hours in the community.

David noted, “Thanks to the generosity of Scott and Susan Arterburn, owners of Chilcoot Monument, another way of making a tax-deductible donation to the event center is available. For a contribution of $100 or more, your name will be engraved onto a finished piece of brick-sized masonry, which will be permanently embedded into the walkway at the entrance to the Event Center.

“If you decide this project is worthy of your support, please make out your check to Old Town Portola Event Center and mail it, along with your choice of name to be engraved, to P.O. Box 1143, Portola, CA, 96122.”

Thus far the multi-paneled mural to the left of the front entrance (a work in progress by muralist Rafael Blanco) is about 60 percent complete, having reached the third panel on the large mural. The final panel “under construction” this season features a shining 805-A Western Pacific engine and a soaring bald eagle.

The changing season means that the paint brushes will be laid down until June 1, 2019. Underground utilities such as water and power have been installed, and the property graded and compacted.

The center is ready for asphalt, pathways, staging, a kiosk at the entry to the center, a decorative trellis, perimeter fencing and artificial turf. All of that will be a part of the next steps toward this addition to the community. David also noted that an event coordinator is needed to find, book and organize events in the future.

Applications are currently being accepted via email, along with any questions regarding the center, at [email protected]