Center Expansion – October 2017 Update
The first part of Phase 1 expansion of the center was completed in autumn of 2016 during an extended work period. During this period the existing Dining Hall and Kitchen were expanded, and a major portion of the new septic system was installed along with activating the new septic leach field installed in 2015.
The expansion completed last year was the first part of expansion for Phase 1. The remaining parts for the first phase of expansion to be completed include, a new Dhamma Hall with Meditation Cells and AT residences, a new dormitory and additional necessary infrastructure upgrades to the roads and electrical system along with a new fire protection system. The first phase of expansion will increase the center’s capacity from the current 50 students and servers total, to a total capacity of 80 students and 10 servers.
In 2017 the main activities for expansion have centered on obtaining a new Special Use Permit (SUP) for the center and developing designs for the new Dhamma Hall with Meditation Cells and AT residences and a Dormitory.
A new SUP permit is necessary prior to any additional expansion at the center, and we are working through the process with the county planning department and our neighbors. We expect to have a new SUP in place by the end of 2017.
Over the past several months, 12 sketches of floor plan layouts were developed for the combination Dhamma Hall with Meditation cells and AT Residences, and we are down to three final layouts. All of these layouts have seating spaces for 80 students plus servers, at least 60 meditation cells and AT residences along with other rooms that support the function of the building. The final three suggested options will be presented to the Trust for consideration at the October Trust meeting.
Sketches for design on a new dormitory have also been developed and the majority of the rooms will be single rooms, each with its own bathroom. Additionally, consideration is being given to providing dorm rooms that are 10’ wide, versus 8’ wide whereas the rooms in the existing dormitory are 7’ wide. The final dorm rooms to be considered will be presented to the Trust later this year.
The long-term planned expansion for Dhamma Pakasa will eventually accommodate a total capacity 150 students/servers, up from the current capacity of 50 students/servers. Included in this expansion is a new Dhamma Hall and Pagoda, several new Dormitories, a conversion of the existing dormitory into a combination Dining Hall, Kitchen and Server Dormitory, conversion of the existing Dhamma Hall into a combination of center manager residences and long term server quarters, a conversion of the existing Dining Hall and Kitchen into office and meeting space, and necessary infrastructure additions and upgrades. Expansion will be done in phases over several years.