County to permanently close portions of Silverdale Community Center due to water damage
(Port Orchard, WA) - The Silverdale Community Center has long needed large-scale improvements to ensure community access and use of the facility for the next five to six years. But improvements to the structural, mechanical and electrical systems are estimated at well over $700,000. During late-November rain storms, the community center, owned and managed by the Kitsap County Department of Parks and Recreation, sustained substantial damage to multiple areas directly impacting public access and use of the building. After exploring many options, county staff and Commissioners concluded portions of the building must be closed by the end of December 2014 to avoid future risk to public safety. The cost of any temporary fix would exceed current budgeted maintenance funds and likely not withstand another similar weather occurrence.
While closing portions of the community center may create an inconvenience for multiple users and tenants of the building, maintaining public safety is paramount. Areas impacted by the closure include the northwest portion of the building which houses storage areas, the Central Kitsap Community Council office, the Kitsap County Long-Term and Aging office, as well as the Poplar and Cedar meeting spaces. The Central State Theater of County Kitsap (CSTOCK) performance area and Evergreen meeting room will continue to remain open, pending assessment of separating mechanical systems. CSTOCK’s production of “A Christmas Carol” will continue its run in the community center, with performances scheduled through Dec. 21.
The county is committed to making this transition period as smooth as possible and notified long-time users, tenants and those with room rental meeting permits for 2015. Staff is discussing with them alternative meeting spaces and storage at other county-owned facilities and also working with the Fire Marshal on what emergency fire exits need to be maintained.
Kitsap County continues to create partnerships to redevelop the community center and surrounding Central Kitsap Community Campus as a civic, cultural and recreational gathering place for residents. While discussions continue with partners on how best to not only design but fund redevelopment of the site, these are preliminary with no specific timeline in place for any decisions or actions. Addressing the need for public meeting spaces on the community campus will remain a part of future planning and opportunities for public comment will be provided.
For more information, contact the Kitsap County Department of Parks and Recreation at 360.337.5350.
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