The design of a work space has enormous effect on the efficiency and quality of work that emerges from it. That is one way of describing the many restorations and new building projects that are redefining Astoria.

Safeway's relocation has been the most dramatic transformation. A 1940s store was replaced by a more spacious building designed for this century. Restoration of the Guy Boyington Building and Liberty Theater were others. So was Norm Stutznegger's remodel of the Pacific Coast Medical Supply building.

The refurbishing of the Clatsop County District Attorney's offices, described by Joe Gamm in Friday's edition, is a current example of a work space in transition to a more efficient one. Gamm described the gain in creating an adjacent grand jury room and in making a space for handling the needs of crime victims. Also in the courthouse, the creation of a contemporary courtroom has given us a more utilitarian public place of business

The prospective remodeling of Astoria City Hall also promises a building that makes more sense to the taxpayer or citizen who wants to do public or private business with city government.

The benefits of a more spacious, commodious and welcoming facility will also flow to Clatsop Community College, as it refurbishes its principal buildings. Warrenton and Seaside made this leap years ago with new municipal headquarters.

Too many small towns are stuck with an array of work spaces - public and private - that weren't intended for the economy or the set of expectations we now have in our wired and wireless world. That's why the most significant innovations in our region have been the complex process of bringing our shared work spaces up to date.