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Boys & Girls Club dangles $10 million offering

While the details are still sketchy, talks have begun to take shape about a possible $10 million Boys & Girls Club community center as part of the Central Kitsap Community Campus.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound board of directors approved an application last month for a Kitsap County Silverdale-Bremerton branch. The newly chartered Kitsap group still needs to elect its board members, develop its by-laws and determine its operation structure.

Just where and when the affiliate will operate depends on community need and its available resources, according to Gary Yazwa, CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound.

He and members of the Kitsap County Boys & Girls Club steering committee are scheduled to make a presentation to the Central Kitsap Community Council Wednesday. In that presentation Yazwa is expected to outline the South Puget Sound’s capital campaign to raise $60 million for six, 31,000 square-foot community centers in the region.

“We’re keeping our options open,” he said on facility locations. They are conducting a feasibility study to determine possible sites. Board members will review the results next month.

“The building is the easy part,” he said, adding pulling together resources and community support can be complicated.

If Central Kitsap intends to get one of the six community centers, about half of the $10 million price would have to be generated locally. When 75 percent of the funds are available, designing and building the center begins. It typically takes 18-24 months to raise the money. Other “anchor tenants” such as the county would have to be identified to shoulder the cost of the project. Building timelines also would have to mesh.

A master plan for the CK Community Campus has yet to be developed and fund raising for the project is in its infancy.

Peter Braun, chairman of the Kitsap County Boys & Girls Club Steering Committee, met with the CK Community Campus Task Force and Kitsap YMCA officials last Tuesday to talk about possibilities.

“We serve kids who have no money and nowhere else to go,” Braun told Task Force members.

“We have zero interest in being viewed as competition or duplicating programs,” he said to Glen Godfrey, executive director for Kitsap YMCA.

While the two organizations share a desire to serve the community, they have different audiences.

“It’s really over in the corner of the county,” said Task Force chairman Rob MacDermid of the YMCA. “It’s not accessible to the rest of the county.”

The Boys & Girls Club offers no programs for adults and does not yet have services in Kitsap County. They are also considering the newly renovated Fairgrounds for a possible site to provide services, rather than a new building Yazwa said. Gig Harbor has also been considered for a community center site where land has been purchased near Discovery Elementary School.

“We don’t know which (of the six locations) are going to go first,” Yazwa said.

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