$8 million recreation center closes in on breaking ground

Architect's rendering of the Marvin Williams Center.
Architect’s rendering of the Marvin Williams Center.

$755,000 is all that stands in the way of a dramatic change in landscape at Eighth Street and Park Avenue. That might sound like a lot but put it this way: more than $7.2 million has been raised to create a west Bremerton recreation center the likes of which the community has never seen.

The planned Marvin Williams Center’s latest success was a $100,000 donation from longtime developer Tim Ryan. Larry Robertson, pastor of Bremerton’s Emmanuel Apostolic Church and president of the New Life Development Agency that’s building the center, is confident construction will begin in spring 2016.

“We’re marching now,” he said. “It’s exciting to finally be ready to start construction.”

He acknowledges there’s still some fundraising left to do but believes the money will be there by the end of the year. Tim and Beverly Ryan also hosted a fundraising dinner at their home that Robertson called successful as well.

The two-story, 18,000 square-foot center will include a basketball court and recreational facilities, to go with a job training and skills center. Donations have come from public and private sources.

All that’s there now is a grassy hill and a set of stairs.

“I am overwhelmed and humbled by the positive response from the public,” Robertson said. “Together, we are going to make West Bremerton a better place.”

The center is named for Marvin Williams, the NBA star who grew up in Bremerton. Watch a video about what the center means to him below.

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