Dhamma Pakasa Center Expansion Update
Since approval of a Master Plan for center expansion by the Board of Trustees in December 2014, the first material steps towards the expansion of Dhamma Pakasa are underway.
A necessary component in allowing the expansion to start this year, is the approval of a variance by the county to permit our new septic system installation to proceed. The design of the new septic system has been completed and is pending approval with the county health department. This design, coupled with approval of the variance will allow us to proceed with installation of the new septic system and will result in the first construction step forward in center expansion. Pending approval, the new septic field is scheduled to be installed in the latter part of this year and will be located in far south end of the property in the new five acre parcel purchased for this purpose a couple of years ago.
The first phase for Dhamma Pakasa expansion is estimated to cost $2.2 million dollars, and will include the following:
A new Dhamma Hall with a capacity for at least 80 students and 40 individual meditation cells, and residences for Assistant Teachers.
A new 35 person Dormitory
Expansion of the present Dining Hall and Kitchen
A conversion of the present Dhamma Hall into center manager and server residences.
An important requirement for this first phase are necessary upgrades to the campus’ infrastructure; the new septic field system as described above, a fire access road surrounding the perimeter of the new building locations, upgrades to the existing electrical systems; and a firewater protection system along with a new well.
This first phase of expansion will allow Dhamma Pakasa to take it’s place among major regional centers supporting students in a deeper practice of Vipassana on 10-day and longer courses.
Beyond this first phase, it is anticipated that there may be as many as four additional construction phases that follow to reach the ultimately planned 150-person capacity. In these subsequent phases; the existing dormitory will be converted into a kitchen/dining hall/server dormitory; a separate pagoda will be constructed adjacent to the Dhamma Hall constructed in the first phase; the AT residences will be moved from the Dhamma Hall into a newly constructed building; the Dhamma Hall will increase in capacity to 150; three additional dormitories will be constructed; and the existing dining hall and kitchen will be converted into offices and meeting space
Due to the Center’s present debt structure, funding for the expansion will have to come from Dana and old student loans. Dana for the Center expansion can only be accepted from students who have successfully completed a 10-day course.