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One thought on “Clarification: Port Orchard Council Sympathetic to Museum’s Angst

  1. The museum has been envisioned from the beginning as being a part of the Towne Center Revitalization Project. It is the land underneath the building that was needed, not the building itself or the above-ground land it sits on.

    Currently, we are parking on the City’s best and most desirable waterfront. Plans call for turning that into a park — not commercial development. The parking garage, which was originally proposed almost 10 years ago, will replace that parking, and add spaces, making other downtown revitalization possible.

    Sitting atop the underground garage structure at the Prospect Street level will be a new building housing the Library, and a campus style community center. The Library brings over 22,000 people a month to downtown — people who also shop and eat in the restaurants there. Although the current Library building (which is owned by the City) is too small to accommodate future needs, the Library has made it clear that it wants to remain downtown, and the downtown merchants see it as a desirable neighbor.

    The City has tried to work with the museum board, making numerous proposals to include it as part of the project. Those include leasing the land underneath the museum building, which would create an ongoing revenue stream for the museum, and be paid from parking revenues; moving the building during construction and then moving it back on to a new foundation (it currently sits on pier blocks — not a concrete foundation); moving it to an entirely new location altogether; and housing the museum in a new building as part of the new complex.

    All of these proposals have been rejected by the museum board. The City has made it abundantly clear — numerous times — that since the museum desires to not be a part of the project, it has every intention of respecting its wishes. The City see this as a win-win, since it will save approximately $3.5 million in construction costs by doing so.

    Lary Coppola

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