Nonprofit group building new South Kitsap center
September 26, 2011 · Updated 10:58 AM
The project director himself says a new social services center for South Kitsap residents has “been flying a little under the radar,” but construction is under way now on a two-story, 6,800-square-foot building on Jackson Avenue.
Kitsap Community Resources, a Bremerton-based nonprofit that operates a Port Orchard satellite office in rented space at 1211 Bay Street, hopes to move into its South Kitsap Community Center next summer.
Plans also include building eight “cottages” on the site to provide long-term affordable rental housing for KCR clients, but that second phase depends on securing additional funding.
“This project’s been flying a little under the radar as we put all the pieces of this puzzle together,” KCR’s projects director, Mike Botkin, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We needed to get started on the center because we had enough money to do that.”
The center will cost $2.5 million. Botkin said KCR received roughly $600,000 from each of three public sources: a Kitsap County Community Development Block Grant; the federal Women, Infants and Children program; and the Building Communities Fund that is part of the state’s capital budget.
The rest of the funding for completing the center and eventually building the cottages will come from donations from foundations and major private donors, Botkin explained.
He said KCR is gearing up to launch a fundraising campaign soon, once the agency finalizes details of a challenge grant from a foundation.
The South Kitsap Community Center project has been developed over the past couple years as part of KCR’s strategic plan, Botkin said.
“It was a desire to develop a more permanent and stable presence with a permanent facility in South Kitsap,” he said.
All of the services provided through the satellite office on Bay Street — WIC, employment search and job training, housing assistance, health care, veterans assistance, literacy programs in ESL and GED prep — will be transferred to the new facility. The center is on Jackson Avenue just north of Lund Avenue, adjacent to the west side of Mariner’s Glen apartment complex.
Winslow Architects of Bainbridge Island designed the center, and Fairbank Construction, also of Bainbridge Island, is the general contractor.
If the weather cooperates as Botkin hopes, crews should be able to complete much of the exterior work before the change of seasons when daylight diminishes and conditions turn wet and cold.
“I love this weather,” he said Tuesday on the eve of autumn, when it was sunny with a high around 70 degrees. “I’m crossing my fingers we get another month to six weeks of this.”