City, school district partners in co-location project

The city of Bremerton, the Bremerton School District (BSD) and Seattle’s NAC Architecture are partners in a project that will bring a middle school to West Bremerton.

Boosted by a $125,000 grant from the state to BSD, the co-located project will combine a public middle school and a community facility together on the same grounds. The idea is new to Bremerton and the project is the first of its kind in the state.

A July 31 public workshop, attracting about 35 community members, opened discussions on the big question: What type of facility should accompany the middle school?

NAC principals Greg Stack, Kevin Flanagan and Boris Srdar led the workshop, dividing attendees into small groups to brainstorm project goals, the community’s needs and to prioritize what a co-located site in West Bremerton should feature.

“From my standpoint, it was a very good session to get things started,” Flanagan said. “I was pleased with the diversity of the people who attended.”

Among the attendees were Will Maupin and Dianne Robinson of the Bremerton City Council, Kitsap Community Resources Executive Director Larry Eyer and BSD Director of Finance and Operations Wayne Lindberg. A handful of parents, students, local architects and developers also attended.

“We want (to hear from) people with a vested interest in the community who represent the interests of the community,” Flanagan said.

Public input will play a significant role in how the project unfolds, Flanagan said, because the ultimate goal is to create a site that meets the community’s needs.

Flanagan called community members “key communicators” and wants to see their visions become reality.

“We put quite a bit of thought into how we could start the project,” Srdar added. “Having the key stakeholders involved from the beginning is an important part of the process.”

Workshop groups said the site should create synergy, utilize resources, extend the dollar, expand co-curricular activities for the student, act as a neighborhood center, make West Bremerton more appealing and contribute to the revitalization of Bremerton, among others.

The exact size and location of the property remains uncertain, but it will be somewhere in West Bremerton, according to Flanagan.

“That’s what is clear,” he said. “What isn’t clear is exactly where.”

Flanagan said NAC has worked on numerous school projects around the state, but never one that is co-located with another facility.

“What’s different about this (project) is it’s very open-ended, it’s a new way of approaching things,” he said, adding that what joins the school could be anything from a business center to a facility offering senior services. “We want to hear various ideas that might be possible and what people perceive as higher needs.”

Additional workshops are planned, the next being 4:30 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Council Chambers at the Norm Dicks Government Center, and the community is encouraged to join.

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