Port Orchard hoping to organize a YMCA

The push is on to bring a YMCA to Port Orchard.

“We really want one,” said Mayor Lary Coppola, “and I’m championing this cause.”

An ad hoc citizens group with Coppola as its spokesman has completed several aspects of the project so far.

They’ve already chosen a site for the building from among several options.

This site stood out, Coppola said, because of its great location.

“It has access to the Blackjack Creek Trail, and it’s on Bethel Road,” he said. “Everyone seemed to think that the Bethel site is a better fit because it’s closer to more people.”

There are about twice as many people living near the proposed site for the Port Orchard YMCA as live in the same distance from the Silverdale YMCA, Coppola said.

The property is privately owned, and the committee hopes to acquire it through a donation.

“It’s on a private, 18-acre property,” Coppola said. “The owner has shown an interest in donating nine of those acres to the city.”

After choosing the property, the group focused its attention on figuring out how to fund the project.

The group is still “looking at consultants to figure out what the cost might be,” Coppola said. And that’s not the only project they have on their plate.

“We need to do the preliminary work to see if this is even viable before we can do anything more,” he said.

The group hopes to pattern the local community center after other local YMCA’s, like the ones in Silverdale and Gig Harbor.

Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown has said he’ll host a tour of the Silverdale YMCA to show Port Orchard residents a successful club at work.

“(Brown) was very instrumental in getting the Silverdale club organized,” said Coppola, “and he’s willing to help us in any way he can.”

Several of the other leaders for the Silverdale YMCA have offered to share their expertise with the city of Port Orchard.

David Lynam, a fire marshal and code compliance manager for Kitsap County recently worked on the Silverdale YMCA club, and said that he’ll also help out the Port Orchard club, if he can.

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