Prop Swap

The Bremerton School District will have 1,200 kids in a middle school at Mountain View, so building a new school on the NAD Soroptomist Park site is one option up for consideration.

This is all very preliminary, according to both sides. If there were a property swap, the city would get the gym at what is now called Bremerton Junior High School. It was once a high school, so the gym is pretty nice.

The swap, or any sale of NAD, would require a unanimous vote of the city council for the city to let it go, and a reader has suggested there may be restrictions on what can go on the NAD site anyway, which may render the discussion moot.

NAD, by the way, stands for Naval Ammunition Depot.

27 thoughts on “Prop Swap

  1. The falling of old growth trees in the well used, well loved park then concreting the park soil to build another building is so short sighted a vision, I am without words.
    We NEED our trees, especially the old growth to help us breathe! The trees actually filter the air of pollutants for us to breathe easier and with less filtering action by our own lungs.
    To concrete over a wonderful park our children visit to play and observe nature is a mindless act, should this half baked idea go forward.
    We are looking to close two underutilized schools…why not use one of them?
    Why not use an existing building?
    We have many empty buildings in and around town —even a church for sale.
    Wouldn’t a church make a grand school?
    …and for a school, maybe the church would offer it for less money…or even lease the church to use as a school…
    Funny thing, modern kids rarely – it seems – leave their computer chair or comfortable perch in front of their TV screen to go outside and play.
    The Bremerton School District must rethink their plan, I hope. We have too few parks for our children… we must keep the few we have. Please.

  2. This propsed land swap is something that the Bremerton Mayor wants to have happen. The school district is intent on the NAD property. It would be a total loss if that urban forest is lost to build a school.

    The Mayor started this fight a year ago when he FIRED the last Director of the Bremerton Parks Department. The past director was against any land swaps or any park land sales and that is why he was shown the door.

    Once you lose a piece of park land you can never reclaim it. SAVE NAD PARK.

  3. It is difficult for me as a simple taxpayer to understand the logic of this plan. Only a month ago I was reading about how several elementary schools in Kitsap County were being looked at for closure due to low enrollments. One of these schools was Jackson Park Elementary located less than a mile away from NAD Park. I believe at the time of the article the utilization rate was in the vicinity of 50%.
    Now I realize that NAD Park and Jackson Park school may be in different districts but it seems to be a monumental waste of time, effort, and tax dollars to build a school one mile away from a school that may be closed in a year. It would be fiscally irresponsible to proceed with a plan to develop NAD Park without a discussion between Central Kitsap and Bremerton districts to try and come to a resolution that is best for all community members, old and young alike. It seems like common sense but what do I know? I’m just a simple taxpayer waiting to get the bill.

  4. My wife and little girl and I are in strong favor of having family friendly affordable recreation in our region. The Disc Golf course at NAD Park provides this opportunity and we oppose its removal from the park.
    We are very concerned that the land is being considered for development. This is one of the few stands of Old Growth trees in our increasingly urbanized region. NAD Park provides habitat for Bald Eagles and a host of other native species. It is a wonderful park to walk, observe native species, and have play a round of Disc Golf. This kind of experience is unique to NAD Park and it would be a travesty to destroy that.
    Having the Disc Golf course at NAD Park does have some environmental impact but, it is far more compatible with habitat function then clearing and grading the land for development would. The West Sound Disc Golf Association (of which my family are card carrying members) has put countless volunteer hours into the construction and maintenance of this course to insure that the environmental impact is minimal.
    I have played Disc Golf in over 13 states and 2 foreign countries, and the course at NAD is by far the most family friendly. Every time my family visits, we always see moms and dads with their kids, retired folks and many teenagers using the Disc Golf Course. Disc Golf is a healthy outdoor alternative to video games and chat rooms and it would be a real shame to see this course removed from the park. To do so would be to deny our community members a family friendly, affordable, and unique outdoor recreation opportunity.

  5. Upon hearing about the recent dispute to survey NAD park to find alternate uses for the land I was dismayed and frankly shocked that this has even been considered. I have been coming to NAD park since the inception of the disc golf course a couple of years ago. I am a Seattle resident and have an avid interest in the outdoors, photography, disc golf, and environmental practices. Not only have I found the park a place of striking beauty with its old growth trees and lush forest undergrowth, but also as a quiet retreat, and a fun, challenging disc golf course. I frequent the park mostly en route to visits that my wife and I make to her home town of Port Townsend. But I have also have brought friends from Seattle specifically to enjoy the disc golf course.

    I believe this park serves many purposes from my observations. I see many people enjoying the picnic areas, walking the trails, and playing disc golf. Of the numerous disc golf courses I’ve played through the United States, this one is one of the most scenic, challenging, and least invasive of them all. I’ve bumped into many trail walkers who have also expressed interest and curiosity at the game.

    As a Seattle resident, I have experienced the recent parks levy which brought funding to Seattle Parks and Recreation for development and improvement of existing sites. The people here realize the importance of Green Space and how it enhances the lives of city residents. To see an existing park such as NAD park fall to the bulldozer of economic “progress” is shameful and irresponsible. The people of Bremerton deserve the preservation of such a wonderful site, not only for the enjoyment of the residents, but for the fact the the forest alone should stand in its pristine state!

    In October, I made a visit to NAD Park to photograph the disc golf course for the developing disc web site. I was there for a six hour period and witnessed no less than 28 people playing the disc golf course – on a weekday! This does not include other multi-users of the park who were present. That is a significant amount of players on any disc golf course in that time period, and I have played (as mentioned) in many places in the NW and East coast. Two of the people I met playing that day were from San Diego, CA and told me they were having a great time on the course.

    Finally, I wanted to add a word about disc golf in specific and its value as an activity. I have been playing the sport since 1992 when I graduated from Montana State University. I stumbled upon it, like most folks, and hadn’t realized that it has roots back in the 1970’s. It has grown slowly but surely to build as a competitive professional sport as the PDGA (Pro Disc Golf Association) has headquarters in Augusta Georgia. It is fantastic benefits to young and old – it is great physical exercise, as you can walk up to 3 miles during an 18 hole round. It is mentally challenging just like its ball golf counterpart, as you must make smart decisions to keep your score low. It builds confidence in its players as they improve their skills. The price is right as well, as very few courses (except private land owners) charge a “greens fee” for playing. This has encouraged younger people to enter the sport as an after school activity and helps keep them out of trouble. It is a sport that is low impact, and can be played into ones senior years (the folks I met from San Diego and their hosts were all over age 60).

    Please reconsider any thoughts of destroying such a gem as NAD park. It will be a sad afterthought to many people throughout the Puget Sound if it goes away.

  6. SAVE NAD PARK!!! The park is too beautiful to be destroyed! Save the trees, save the animals! There are plenty other locations for another school. Please save Nad Park!!!

  7. In a county that is closing several schools, I think it’s ludicris to consider ruining a public park to build a new school. If more people are moving into that area, than more people or in need of the free open space. If more people are moving into the area, more animals are in need of the free open.
    We have learned in the last few years that a sustainable future has to be planned for.
    Many options are available, let’s examine the options instead of going with the quick fix of here’s land put up a building.
    Even if it means a little longer transportation to an existing building – millions in saved building costs could cover that. Perhaps there is a potential for smaller school in existing building. Let’s dream new solutions that could be a model for change around the county.

  8. I am surprised that the Bremerton school district and the Parks and Recreation department are even considering NAD park for a potential site for the new school. NAD park is a special place where the community can go and enjoy the outdoors with the old growth trees and nature. The park to so close to the city that it enables the local community to get away from the daily stresses in life by going to the park during lunch breaks or after dinner. It also provides an area for families to go and get some recreation without having to drive that far away.

    I first started using the park during the 90’s when I would ride my mountain bike on the many trails that wander throughout the park. Currently, I play disc golf at NAD park 2-3 times a week. While I’m there I see atleast 15 people using the park (playing disc golf or walking the trails).

    If NAD park was delevoped, it would destroy a community asset that could never be replaced in our lifetime. Future generations would have to travel to the Olympic Mountains to have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

    Save NAD park….

  9. Having lived in this area for 30 years I have seen much change and growth. One of the most positive changes in our area is the rebirth of NAD park. From what was once a seedy park it has blossomed into a healthy vibrant part of our community that we can all be proud of!

    Please save NAD park!

  10. Who speaks for the squirrels? I know someone will call me nuts, but I speak for the squirrels, and the owls, and the eagle and her chicks. Oh, and the newt I saw wriggling through the mud not long ago on pin #4. I’ve written to the mayor and to the city council a graphic description of what will happen to the wildlife in the forest if the land swap goes through and a new middle school is built there. I’m an educator and I’m all for new schools, but not on this unique and precious piece of land. Once it’s destroyed, it will never return. The mayor, the school board, and the city council MUST be made to understand this.

  11. The NAD park is more valuable as is than it could ever be. I live in Los Angeles now, but am from the Olympic peninsula. NAD park is a sanctuary, a cathedral of temperate forestland. It has been like a home for me, as I know it has been for others who have had the privelege to be there.
    I am all for supporting education. In fact I am on a PhD track at USC in Marine Biology. But building on this land is not a smart idea. It may be convinient, as the land is already possessed by the city, but it is not smart. The park is too valuable. Why take a prime site and tear it apart. Why not take one in shambles and make something beautiful from it. That is progress.
    May I once again throw plastic at Nad park.

    Save NAD park!!

  12. I am dismayed to hear that the urban oasis we know as NAD Park may be destroyed and the recreational opportunities (not to mention the irreplaceable natural beauty).I and many others have enjoyed taking advantage of what this park has to offer since we discovered it several years ago,and we live in Port Angeles! Let’s not let short-sighted government officials take this away from the public! Schools can be built almost anywhere,just look around-it’s hard not to see one. NAD Park is a gem and needs to be left as is. Anything less is an insult to those that know…”once it’s gone,it’s gone for good”.

  13. They can’t be serious. How does taking away the homes of all these precious animals and beautiful trees and putting up a school, when we are already closing some, make any sense?
    I am recently retired from the Navy, and for the past twenty years I have lived in this area and witnessed the transformation of our beautiful Kitsap County…Silverdale being the best example of growth and development. The “urban forests” that make our area so special are dwindling rapidly. If anyone has been in Silverdale at 5:00 pm, you can appreciate the fact that we need these areas to escape to. Our area is growing into another Tacoma, Olympia, etc….
    We cannot allow our few remaining areas of respite and relaxation to be destroyed. There is NO reason to build a school here. There are other sites available. Adding a few more school bus routes to evenly distribute the children makes more sense than bulldozing this bastion of natural beauty.
    I have played disc golf in the park, and it was wonderful, relaxing, healthy, stimulating and refreshing FREE exercise. Isn’t this what we need in today’s crazy society. Isn’t that the purpose of this park? It just doesn’t make sense to destroy this beautiful area to put in a school. It just doesn’t.
    Do something for the animals that do not have a voice. Visit the park and see for yourself. SAVE NAD PARK…Please.

  14. NAD Park is a community icon and should be preserved. It is a refuge for humans and birds and animals. I’ve enjoyed taking my dog into the woods for years and walking the trails just to get out and smell the forest. I cannot imagine paving it over in the times that green spaces are becoming so valued and progressive planning is finally developing community parks for people and the wildlife that we encroach on. I thought we were getting smarter. I will admit that knowing the park intimately before the Frisbees were tossed through the trees and seeing the ferns trampled was unsettling. But, you know what? My dog still loves the park, there is always a squirrel to scold and mock her for her feeble efforts to catch it. There are always birds to listen to, so intently that the freeway sound can be droned out. There is always a sense of accomplishment when you walk the nature trails and actually get some exercise and fresh air at the same time. And what has changed? None of the things I have addressed. But now, there is always laughter and the fun KA-CHING of a well placed Frisbee. There is always the funny sound of a CLUNK when a Frisbee does battle with a marvelous old growth tree. There are always friendly people and they are genuinely having a good time. And, I always take my Frisbee now. Not so much in the fall, because my Frisbee is yellow and so are the giant maple leaves…and I’m not very good, yet. New schools should be built on old concrete, sites we have already developed, and we should be creative about utilizing less precious real estate. Please help fight the battle to preserve our local NAD park treasure. It is enjoyed by many and those that haven’t visited? Come see for yourself and go for a walk in the woods. It’s a lot bigger that it looks from the road and you are certain to understand what I’m talking about.

  15. Mr Draper has proposed this before and there was little support on Council for the transfer. I doubt very much if that has changed and since it is a park it does need a unanimous vote. Not likely. especially since several of the council have seen the demographics of the student population and the correct location for the school is near Anderson Cove..that area is central to where the kids are.

    I hope you park supporters will support the idea of locating the school closer to town when the discussion gets to that point??

  16. In response to Mike Shephard’s wise comments, I completely agree. Placing a middle school between a freeway and a busy four-lane highway is asking for trouble. Locating the new school closer to the demographic center Mike suggests makes a LOT more sense.

  17. The Bremerton School District is in the process of reviewing its long-range facility plans, including the need for a second westside middle school. The district would like to assure you that NAD Park is only one of several locations that are currently being considered. At this time, all discussions about a “property swap” with the city are extremely preliminary. The district values parks; we realize that they are an important asset to our community. As we continue to study our long-range plans, we will be reviewing and weighing all options. We appreciate your insight and your concerns.

  18. “…the correct location for the school is near Anderson Cove..that area is central to where the kids are….”
    Is property available in the Anderson Cove area?
    What are the options?

  19. I’d like to thank Ms. Carlson of the Bremerton School District for adding her comments here. It’s refreshing to know that the public’s voice is being heard, since we have had very little feedback from the city council and NONE from the mayor’s office on this issue. Saving the NAD Park is of vital interest to a great many people and the concern is growing daily. We thank the school district for its update of information through Mr. Carlson. With increased information, we can all have a clearer picture of what is happening regarding the land swap issue.

  20. I am angry that I have to pay taxes. I consider myself to be a average taxpayer, and I should be glad and more than willing to pay my taxes. But I’m not. I’m not glad to give my money to people who take away our beautiful public park, and the place that I and many other citizens in this community, worked so hard to remove the vargrents, clear the land, and literally reclaim the land for the community. And then have the community leaders decide that now, the land is more useful than the purpose it was orginally set aside for. Public park land. I am angry that I spent so much time, money, and effort to volunteer to help the community. And that is exactly what I thought I was doing all this time. Reclaiming and restoring a public park so that it could become useful to the community again. Not making a public park land more profitable for the City of Bremerton to sell. I will do everything in my realm of power to remove any community leaders that think it is a good idea to give away our park land. Because I am not happy about giving my money to people who think that it is a good idea to do that.
    That being said, reguardless of whether I’m happy about it or not, I have to continue to pay my taxes, and if you ask me the best way to improve our schools, I would suggest to the community that we should pay our teachers more than our janitors. Not give away land that is worth so much more to our community.
    JEB Monk

  21. Krista Carlson is to be commended for speaking up but nothing was said.
    The Bremerton School District is ‘reviewing’ and ‘studying’ … nothing was decided. We already know that.
    It seems to me the BSD could immediately state they had discarded the NAD park land swap idea….it is the sensible and far sighted thing to do.
    It seems incredible to me that a school district, charged with educating our children and their children after them would immediately note the value of the NAD park left as it is and reassure the citizens they value our old growth trees and parks too much to bulldoze it down and concrete over it.
    Other people here have eloquently given reasons not to rip out this park – please listen to them.
    Bremerton School District, go a step further and tell us you have discarded the notion…

  22. I am shocked that the city council and the mayor are considering trading NAD Park to the school district so a middle school can be built there. I have lived in Bremerton for 36 years and feel very strongly that this is very wrong. NAD Park is one of the few parks in the area that you can go to and see mother nature at its best.

    Why would we want to kill some of our natural resources to build a school when there are plenty of empty buildings and concrete sites already available to build a school?

    We need to get a petition going to stop this ludicrus idea.

    Save NAD Park!

    Christine Purbaugh

  23. I just learned the NAD is valued at $3 million and the land of the old East High School next to the Albertson’s is valued at $14 million. So, why would the school district give away $11 million in a land swap with the parks department. Something does not sit right it that deal. Who is benefitting with the extra valued land and why? I’m sure it is not the Parks Department and if that is true then it must then fall into the hands of the City.

    Like I have said before, Mayor Bozeman started this fight last fall when he FIRED Ken Mickelson the parks director because he would not sell park land.

    Can the cities people trust the new director to not swap or sell park land?

    This fight can stop if the Mayor Bozeman wants it to stop. This fight can stop if the school district would take NAD off of its radar. This fight can stop if the city council would pass a motion or resolution that states HANDS OFF NAD PARK.

    This fight will not stop until we the people save NAD park.


  24. I have a great deal of skepticism about a deal that would remove one of our cities parks in order to build a new school while we have existing multiple empty buildings throughout East and West Bremerton. We like our parks. I’m not one who’s ready for a greenbelt placed between two shopping centers and endless gridlock. Please think rationally and save NAD Park!

  25. I think we should all take a moment to thank Mayor Bozeman for making a courageous and wise decision, one that reflects his genuine concern for the health, well-being, and the political will of the citizens of Bremerton. Tonight, toward the end of the Bremerton City Council meeting, Councilman Brockus read a letter from mayor, stating that in view of public concern and the fact that city wishes to be a good steward of its lands for future generations, the mayor is permanently taking Forest Ridge Park and the NAD Park off any further possible properties that might be involved in a land swap. They are to remain recreational areas for the citizens of Bremerton and the surrounding region far in the future. I personally want to thank the mayor for this wonderful and heroic choice.
    John C. Cohoon

  26. Please save NAD park it would be a shame to cut the old tree with the eagle nest in it! The Disc golfers have done so much! Please save NAD park for the people.
    thankyou Jim Lilley

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