Community Campus ideas come under public spotlight

Now that Silverdale’s trail system is well under way (with a dedication this weekend) local movers and shakers are focusing again on the so-called Community Campus.

“A newly formed coalition of six (Kitsap) agencies announced a contract with Lewis Architecture” of Seattle to help design the campus, said CK Commissioner Tim Botkin.

Those agencies include the county, Central Kitsap Community Council, Kitsap Regional Library, Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, the Port of Silverdale, and the CK School District. They chose Lewis out of a field of nine consultants. The cost of the study, $52,158, to be shared by the six agencies.

A “community campus” is much like a city center or “downtown” — only it’s in an unincorporated community, such as Silverdale.

“This Community Campus will link old town to uptown and create a heart for Silverdale,” he said.

The first meeting between the public and principals of Lewis Architecture — to pick a rough draft of the campus — occurred Sept. 26. Four versions of the campus were presented — “A” through “D.” The two dozen members of the public who attended were broken-up into four separate tables, and given 40 minutes to hash out the pros and cons.

Eavesdropping on various tables elicited the public’s concerns:

l “There’s not adequate parking here.”

l “I came here tonight to see if Linder Field would stay ... When you look at all the (maps) you see Linder Field as a priority.”

l “Can we do underground parking here? Or is it too close to the bay?”

l “Do we like where the community center is now? On Silverdale Way?”

l “I’d still like the performing arts center to be bigger.”

l “What do you think of the library mixed in with senior housing?”

l “What if we did away with the swimming pool ... outdoor pools lose money.”

l “Could we really (narrow Silverdale Way and put parking on it) and make up for traffic somewhere else?” “Vancouver (Washington) had a good plan similar to this ...”

The arguments continued. Finally, after 40 minutes, the consultants, Ross Jamieson and Dave McNeal, ended discussion and asked each table’s assigned leader to come up and tell which plan they preferred, and why.

Each map had a community center, Sheriff’s satellite station, community center, performing arts center, library, swimming pool, Linder Field, senior housing, retail, more housing and parking.

The proposed campus is bordered by Carlton Street on the south, Dyes Inlet on the east, Bucklin Hill Road to the north, and Silverdale Way to the west.

The different maps had reconfigured roads and had different locations for the various elements.

The most popular tentative plan seemed to be Plan B. Three out of the four tables or groups favored it. The rep for Group 2, Louis Mitchell, explained why:

“We were looking at the initial concept centered around a library and community activities. We didn’t see the Sheriff’s station as part of Phase I,” he said. “Also, we already have three pools in the (greater) area. Bremerton loses money on its pool.” As for narrowing Silverdale Way to accommodate parking? “We can’t see how traffic can be accommodated ... and there’s too much parking in these plans. Parking can be shared” by different elements.

He said his group didn’t prioritize the amphitheater, and focused on transit and a shuttle service.

“Silverdale’s poised to becoming a city,” he commented.

Other groups cited Plan B for its increased retail “tax base,” the option of additional housing, diagonal parking on Silverdale way, and the option of a promenade for pedestrians along Silverdale Way.

There will be more meetings as the maps are refined, said consultants. The next public workshop is Oct. 24. For information, call 337-7146.

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