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Groups ask CKCC for meeting rooms, more parking

Meeting rooms and parking were among the concerns heard by the Central Kitsap Community Council last week as it discussed the future of the Central Kitsap Community Campus.

The campus is under discussion as both the West Sound Performing Arts Center and the Kitsap Regional Library consider building new facilities on the county-owned property between Silverdale Way and Randall Way in midtown Silverdale.

Representatives of local flower clubs, senior groups and other community clubs told the council that if the current community center is torn down to make room for a new performing arts center and/or library they will lose the meeting rooms where they regularly have events.

“We use that building for our meetings and our potlucks,” said Pat Reece, of the Kitsap Community Seniors. “If the rooms there are gone, there are very few places for us to go.”

Indeed. According to members of the Kitsap Fruit Tree Association, and the Kitsap Dahlia Society, meeting rooms that can hold 100 to 150 people and which have kitchens for potlucks are few and far between. One man said his group can’t afford to go to the hotels where their events would have to be catered.

Even the tourism group, Visit Kitsap Peninsula, has reported that there is as shortage of meeting rooms in Central Kitsap.

Richard Shattuck, president of the council, said he was aware that meeting spaces in Central Kitsap were hard to find and assured the groups that the council will take their message to the Kitsap County Commission which will ultimately make the decisions about what will be built on the campus.

Council Member Robert Moyer gave a summary of how the campus came to be and said that the first mention of creating a campus was in 1991. He said the county was able to purchase the property in 2003 and a master plan was created by Ross Fergus Miller architects in 2007 which gave a conceptual design for the project.

“A big part of that was a focal point that was a green space for picnics, a quiet spot to get away from what otherwise is a busy retail but, and a spot that will allow for views of the bay,” he said.

Since then, the Haselwood YMCA has been added to the campus which also is home to a sheriff’s precinct office and the current community center that is home to CSTOCK community theater and the Evergreen Room, which is the meeting room used by many community groups.

To date, there are nonbinding letters of intent between the county and WSPAC, and the county and the library, allowing them to build on the campus. WSPAC officials have said they plan to build on the site and are currently fundraising. Kitsap Regional Library is considering the location but has not made a decision on where to build a new Silverdale Library.

Many of those who attended the CKCC meeting expressed concerns that parking will become an issue if both WSPAC and the library are added to the campus. Some said there is already a parking issue with just the YMCA on the campus.

Moyer said the original design schemes include a parking garage at the northwest end of the campus. He said other ideas have included going underground for parking, in order to preserve the green space and views on the campus. Both, however, are expensive and the county does not have money for either. Parking facilities most likely would be built as a part of either the theater or library or both. Suggestions also have included that senior housing be built on the upper levels of a parking garage.

Moyer said there is a county-owned apartment complex and a small retail complex on the campus, which could provide more space if a decision was made to tear them down. But he said that would be up to the county commission. There is still a debt on the apartments which were originally part of the housing authority.

What the council agreed on is that the county commission needs to adopt the campus master plan and design standards that have been in their hands for more than a year. Jim Sommerhauser, who was formerly on the county planning commission and a part of creating those documents, said he thought the delay was because commissioners had been waiting to see whether WSPAC or the library would make a commitment to build on the campus.

Newly appointed Kitsap County Commissioner Linda Streissguth said she intended on talking with other commissioners about the campus master plan.

Some of the people attending the meeting asked that the council also consider a teen center on the campus.

The council is planning another meeting on the community campus in March when representatives working for a new Silverdale library will attend.

For more information about the Central Kitsap Community Council go to www.kitsapgov.com/boards/CAC/ckcc/default.htm.

 

 

 

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