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AWB Newsletter
Summer 2014
Editor: Catherine Paglin 
Asst. Editor: Lindsay Burnette
AWB Lends a Hand
In lieu of a July meeting,
Kent Wu assembles a swing.
Architects Without Borders-Oregon joined other volunteer groups on the last Saturday of the month to construct a playground for a Habitat for Humanity community in outer Southeast Portland. Volunteers cleared and leveled the site, spread sod and wood chips, assembled and installed play equipment, and built a shade structure, benches, and picnic tables. "It feels good to be part of a community effort that provides such an immediate result in response to a local need," said AWB board member John Blumthal.
In This Issue
Nick Rillstone makes an impression in Bon Repos, Haiti, March 2014.

Good Works at Bon Repos


The 2010 earthquake in Haiti damaged thousands of structures. One of them was a classroom building at the Bon Repos Orphanage near Port-au-Prince. Now, thanks in part to AWB-Oregon's design of a seismic upgrade, this building is on its way to being safe for teaching and learning.


Design engineer Nick Rillstone took the lead when the Good Shepherd Community Church (Boring, OR) approached AWB for guidance with the Bon Repos project. Rillstone said retrofitting the three-story classroom building involves constructing reinforced concrete shear walls to address structural deficiencies, and moving damaged bearing walls to more structurally advantageous locations. With financial support from the church and his employer (KPFF Consulting Engineers) he has made two trips to the project site to survey the damage and help with construction of the repairs and upgrades.


"Nick was a huge help with the design and also with bending and placing the rebar. He labored extremely hard the whole time he was there, and all the time was making last minute calculations on rebar and footing specifications," said Jeff Dickey, a Portland-area homebuilder who is leading the project for Good Shepherd.


Rillstone plans a third visit to Haiti this fall when work begins on the classroom building's second story. In the mean time he has left his mark in the village of Bon Repos. When workers poured concrete for footings of the new shear walls one area remained exposed. Each of the orphan girls made a handprint in the fresh concrete, and Rillstone left his handprint too.


"I am so impressed with Nick Rillstone's character and commitment to this project. He has been so professional and an absolute blessing to us," Dickey said.

Focus on Homelessness: August & September 

Homelessness will be the subject of AWB's next two general meetings. Our August 27th meeting will feature speakers including Sally Erickson who manages the Portland Housing Bureau's homeless program, Tony Bernal, development director for Transition Projects, and Marc Jolin, executive director of JOIN. We hope to have a lively discussion about past, present, and future approaches to homelessness in Portland. Our September meeting will focus on different types of housing for this population. Stay tuned for more information about these and related events.

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