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Latest purchase paves way for CK community campus

Kitsap County Commissioners took two more steps Monday night in the push to make the proposed Central Kitsap Community Campus a reality.

First, commissioners approved the purchase of the Beerbower property, one that’s had an option on it for some time. Commissioners also voted to amend the county’s Parks Capital Plan, swinging $450,000 to the development of a YMCA center on the campus.

“Definitely,” Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown said when asked if the purchase and money influx helped. “It gets us another step closer.”

Granted, the county has many steps to go before even the YMCA project gets completely off the ground. That project is expected to cost somewhere in the ballpark of $12 million. The entire campus is being projected somewhere in the range of $50 million to $100 million.

The county received a $1 million grant from the Washington state Department of Ecology in January and has been looking for fund-raising sources to produce another $4.5 million or so.

Costs from the Beerbower purchase will be partially offset by rent-paying tenants already in the building.

“It’s a very fiscally responsible purchase,” Brown said.

It also should be one of the last, or at least the last big one.

In an e-mail last week, Brown called the Beerbower property, “the last critical parcel that needs to be secured” in the county’s plan to buy up property on the site of the proposed campus.

“One of the elements that had been mising for much of the time (while people talked about building the campus) is the land,” Brown said.

The original idea for the campus can be traced back some 10 years.

The current plan — or ideal outcome for the campus — calls for the construction of the YMCA center, a new sheriff’s precinct, a performing arts center and a library. Plans also have been drawn up to allow for future expansion of the YMCA center and library.

The county would market the campus as a “multi-generational” recreation site and the area’s largest after school activities provider, Brown said.

“Our goal is to develop a project — a community recreation center that delivers services to 10,000 community members,” he said.

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