Westpark Head Start Could Head Over To Naval Avenue

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Build me a new classroom or this stuffed hamster will pay.

Westpark’s plan to tear down the old and build the new won’t just be displacing residents.

The Westpark Recreation Center currently houses Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and that building will reach its Waterloo in the next two years.

“It’s coming down,” Mike Botkin, program director for Kitsap Community Resources, told Bremerton School Board members Thursday. KCR operates the two programs aimed at children and low-income families.

Botkin said the organization is “fairly optimistic” it can secure $5 million to spend on a new building (built “green,” of course, partly because that’s a requirement of state money), mostly in federal dollars.

An idea proposed during the board’s study session could lead to the construction of a new section of Naval Avenue Early Elementary Learning Center.

If additional dollars could be found, the proposed structure could include a second floor to serve even more people and a meeting place for Boys and Girls Club activities.

Although it is just an idea at this point, the three board members at the meeting appeared to be supportive.

Community partnerships have been a feather in Superintendent Bette Hyde’s cap, and bringing together Head Start, Boys and Girls Club and a school geared toward early education would be a capital idea, she said.

Not only that, the district has been bracing for a decline in enrollment as the Westpark exodus shifts into high gear. Hyde noted that, if the stars align and the plan becomes reality, it could help keep students in the district.

There are still issues to discuss, including who would own the building and the logistics of construction, but Boardmembers Cynthia Galloway, Vicki Collins and DuWayne Boyd were all supportive of further discussion.

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