A YMCA in Port Orchard?February 23rd, 2011 by Chris Henry
A YMCA in Port Orchard?
Why not, says Mayor Lary Coppola, who broached the topic on his Facebook page with this comment on Feb. 8, “I’d like some feedback on the idea of undertaking a major capital campaign to build a YMCA like the ones in Gig Harbor and Silverdale in Port Orchard. Click ‘Like’ if you think this is a good idea. If not, leave a comment about why not. Thanks!”
On Feb. 11, I asked the mayor what were the chances of a Y in SK (South Kitsap for you out of towners). He said he was approached by some people with 18 acres on Bethel Road, a possible site, who floated the idea by him. To bring the idea to fruition, there would have to be a capital campaign and whole lot of legwork.
In Silverdale, the Haselwood Family YMCA is taking shape and on schedule to open in July. Talk of a YMCA began in the late 1990s, spearheaded by the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority. But the housing authority was no longer involved from 2008 on, due to it financial struggles. Planning in earnest for a Y, which is the first piece of the Central Kitsap Community Campus, began in 2007.
In 2009, an agreement approved by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners paved the way for the Y, to be built by YMCA of Tacoma-Pierce County.
The total cost of the project is $15 million. The county will contribute $1 million from real estate excise taxes, as well as use of the land — an in-kind contribution of approximately $2.5 million. The county has applied for grants to help cover its portion of the cost. The rest of the project cost will be covered by the capital campaign, which got big boosts from the Haselwood and Ross families.
Coppola said he would support the city’s involvement in helping bring a YMCA to South Kitsap. “If a citizens’ group wanted to get together and do this, I’d be behind it,” Coppola said.
On Feb. 11, Coppola posted on his Facebook page a link to a new group “Port Orchard Wants a YMCA!” The group was created by South Kitsap developer Lars Kvinsland of Peninsula Brokers Real Estate Inc. So far, there are two members, Kvinsland and Coppola.
What do you think about a YMCA in South Kitsap/Port Orchard? Do you think a capital campaign would take off? What if any role should the city of Port Orchard play in bringing the YMCA to the community? (Take the poll on the homepage of this blog.)