Wildwood: Springhouse Cellar closes, re-opens as community center

On May 1, Springhouse Cellar, located at 13 Railroad Street, will become Wildwood.

Wildwood will continue to host events for the Hood River community, including Ruins Tuesday concerts, Hood River Farmer’s Market (winter), holiday markets, music acts and, hosting non-profit events, stated a press release.

In addition, Wildwood will continue to add many other seasonal events to the schedule, including line dancing, televised World Cup games, and cultural nights to celebrate the many religions and cultures from around the world, as well as continuing as a wedding venue.

Wildwood is going to begin hosting Thursday Family Night at the Ruins, a night for families and kids to kick back and have some fun. Gladiator dodge ball, intergalactic laser tag, glow in the dark capture-the-flag, outdoor movies, pizza, s’mores, painting, dancing, and singing are just some of the activities planned, said the press release.

Ryan Huntington, employed by Springhouse Cellar, will serve as general manager of Wildwood Events.

“James and Lisa Matthisen (founders and owners of Springhouse Cellar) did a fantastic job of establishing the Ruins as a community event center for Hood River. We plan not only to continue with the amazing events they’ve established, but continue to add new and interesting activities for young and old people alike. We’re very excited to have Ryan as a general manager due to his breadth of experience and knowledge of the events industry,” said Carrington Barrs, one of the co-owners of Wildwood.

“We’ll be starting ‘Wild Talks’ which will bring in speakers on various subjects to both inspire and educate,” Barrs said. Some of the initial speakers will include professional athletes, Michelin-starred chefs, artists, authors, adventurers, and business executives.

Springhouse Cellar will have their tasting room open and conduct business as usual until April 30.

In addition to holding events, Wildwood will be home to Wildwood Academy and Wildwood Down Under. Wildwood Academy, opening in Fall 2018, will be an independent middle school for grades 6-8. Wildwood Down Under will be a community center that will have host music practice and rehearsal spaces, a pottery room, art studio, and movement space available to the public.

“It’s an honor to continue with all the events. As Wildwood will be home to Wildwood Academy, it will be a great opportunity for our students to become more engaged with the community as well as learn how events are run,” said Joe O’Neill, the other co-owner of Wildwood.

Lead teacher Victoria Huebler said, “We’ve got students signed up and momentum is growing.”

Ideally, Wildwood hopes to serve two classes of 24.

“Right now (we are) a little under that, but we time for that to grow. We want to broaden the student base so there is a mix of students. A thriving student community is our goal,” said Huebler, who has taught at Hood River Middle School and is currently at Corbett, a position she will hold until June.

“There is so much excitement,” Huebler said. Asked to name the biggest challenge of starting a school, she said, “I am getting to bring to Hood River what I love and know to be great for kids, so I don’t think it’s a challenge.”

She said the key ingredients are “community relationships, the power of connections, the opportunity to help kids build respect and responsibility and resilience within themselves in a community of like-minded people.”

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