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A resounding yes: Silverdale wants a YMCA

For the past decade, the idea of a YMCA facility in Silverdale has been discussed.

Now the idea is becoming a reality.

“(A YMCA) improves the quality of life for people living in the Central Kitsap area,” said Central Kitsap Community Council President Jon Pearson. “Half of the people in Kitsap County exercise three times a week ... and would travel within 15 to 20 minutes within their home to go to these facilities.”

Representatives from Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority (KCCHA), CK commissioners and Kitsap Family YMCA representatives have been discussing building a YMCA in Silverdale as part of the proposed CK Community Campus. With two feasibility studies complete, residents in the Central Kitsap area have overwhelmingly responded to wanting a YMCA in Silverdale.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a long time,” said KCCHA Spokeswoman Torie Brazitis. “The YMCA are proven good places for kids to go in evenings, weekends and summers ... and for families to go.”

Brazitis added that 38 percent of residents in Silverdale surveyed said they were interested in a YMCA facility. She added that families of all income statuses can be members of the YMCA because they don’t turn anybody away. Members who cannot pay their membership can often work out a payment plan or obtain scholarships to still be able to be involved with the YMCA.

Pearson added there are families in Poulsbo that would be willing to travel to Silverdale if a YMCA facility was erected. He added that the plans for the YMCA right now, although still in the project-planning phase, are coming along well and he is in the process of talking with two other YMCA facilities. The difference now is the county owns the 12-acre proposed CK Community Campus property where the YMCA would be built.

“We’ve been working on the YMCA for 10 years, it’s something that has come back to life,” Pearson added. “It’s the hottest thing around and we’ve got the property.”

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown said the funding model for the YMCA will be similar to that of the newly opened facility in Gig Harbor with 40 percent of the cost paid for by the state, local park district and community partnerships and 60 percent through membership dues and fund-raising.

“(YMCA) is just one part of the community campus,” Brown added. “We need places where our community can gather, where we can bring seniors, teens and families together. The YMCA can be that centerpiece.”

Brazitis said based on the community’s needs and location, each YMCA facility will offer different things. She added that this way, the community gets what it really wants.

The Community Campus site is located between Randall Way and Poplars Avenue NW near the Silverdale Community Center.

“(A YMCA) is something we’re really excited about,” Brazitis added. “It makes Silverdale a very attractive place to live.”

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