Ashland, Oregon, Buddhist center nears completion

Mail Tribune: With about $200,000 in donated labor from volunteers, a three-story, $1.6 million Buddhist meditation center is nearing completion in Ashland and will open for classes the first week of June.

The 5,800-square-foot home of Kagya Sukha Choling is a blend of traditional Tibetan and contemporary “green-sustainable” architecture — and is being lauded as an “eternal” structure that will offer spiritual and economic benefits.

“It’s a beautiful thing, long-lasting, environmentally friendly and embodying ethics and values we so much need today,” said Kagya Sukha Choling board member Anne Stine. “It’s a gift to the Rogue Valley community, a beacon for Ashland in terms of resources, classes and visitors — and good for the economy and other businesses.”

The center, founded in 2002 in a house on Granite Street, took out permits in 2005 to build at the Hersey Street location and set out to raise just over $1 million for construction.

The ground floor houses offices, library and classrooms. The second floor has a large meditation hall and kitchen while the top floor is apartments for the two lamas, plus quarters for visiting lamas.

An outside porch surrounds the top floor, which shows accents of red and gold. Final touches will include prayer wheels from Nepal, ornamental full moons, dharma wheels, two deer and banners.

In the remaining three months before opening, KSC has to raise the final $75,000 for the project.

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