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Ross couple pledges $1 million to new Silverdale YMCA

The Silverdale YMCA project received an added boost recently thanks to the generosity of a Kitsap County couple.

Ron and Nadean Ross have pledged $1 million toward the new YMCA on the Central Kitsap Community Campus, marking the first private pledge for the proposed facility.

“There are limited activities for children and families in Central Kitsap,” Nadean Ross said. “The YMCA will provide a place for everyone in the community — kids, teens, young adults, seniors and families. We feel very privileged to have this opportunity.”

The Rosses initially expressed their interest to donate to the project during Kitsap County’s feasibility study, which was completed about a year ago, according to Michelle LaRue, spokeswoman for YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties. However, YMCA staff made the official announcement last Friday.

“We didn’t expect it,” LaRue said of the Rosses’ pledge. “Silverdale/Central Kitsap is a new community for us, we didn’t know what kind of leadership was there.”

Ron Ross has owned and operated Silverdale Realty for more than 40 years and is a longtime developer in Kitsap County.

“The YMCA is not only good for families, it’s good for economic development in Silverdale,” Ron Ross said. “It will create construction jobs in 2010 and 2011, and then will provide jobs for 200-plus people when it opens. The YMCA will also act as a stimulus to additional development on or near the Central Kitsap Community Campus.”

The Rosses’ promised contribution is the first private pledge to the project. After being inspired by their gift, a YMCA board member anonymously donated $50,000, according to LaRue.

An additional $1 million will come from Kitsap County Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) (which can only be allocated toward capital projects) as well as an $800,000 state Community Trade and Economic Development grant, taking the money raised thus far to $2.85 million.

With an estimated project cost of $15 million to $18 million, funds will come from a mix of three funding sources including $5 million in public monies (not Kitsap County debt), $5 million in private fundraising conducted by the YMCA and $5 million to $8 million financed by the YMCA.

The project is slated to break ground in summer 2010 with a proposed opening in late 2011. The 50,000-70,000-square-foot facility will include an aquatic center, fitness area, teen center, gym and racquetball courts.

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