21 reasons why a recreation center would benefit community

"Today marks an important first step towards the goal of building a family recreation center at the South Kitsap Community Park.From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the park is hosting RecFest, a full day of fun and games in hopes of rallying support for a bond issue in November.The proposal is to build a family recreation center for everybody in the community.Here is an opportunity for the community have something of its own.Senior citizens, adults, teenagers and children will all have a piece of this great facility.The cost to taxpayers is more than minimal. Passing a school levy was difficult because many groups of people aren't associated with school and didn't feel the government should make them pay for something that doesn't pertain to them.Well, that line of thinking can be thrown out the window because this recreation center will cater to everyone who cares to get out of the house and do something fun.The preliminary cost for the center will be $16 million on a 20-year bond, which translates to 36 cents per every $1,000 of assessed property value.That is $3 a month, or $36 a year.If you are a qualified senior homeowner, you are eligible for a tax exemption.The recreation center will be self-sustained through user fees on a yearly, monthly or hourly basis.Persons unable to afford the fee can receive scholarships. Scholarship money is generated though donations, activities, and grants.For instance, the South Sound Boys and Girls Club of America is interested in partnering with the recreation center in developing programs, funding and staff to help kids in SK.Are you willing to hold back on an extra value meal from McDonalds once a month to pay for this?I sure am.Here are 22 reasons why the recreation center will more than benefit this community:* Huge flower gardens representing SK garden clubs.* Vegetable gardens by WSU Extension, Cross Sound Garden Club. It will teach vegetable gardening with the vegetables going to the SK needy.* A game room with pool, foos ball, and ping pong tables.* Community meeting rooms for various size groups (10 to 400 people), including banquet rooms with kitchens.* Computers for latch-key kids. Kids whose parents are still at work when school is out can use computers or just hang out in a safe recreational environment supervised by park personnel.* Sheriff's Desk where personnel can check in. A mere presence will help deter problems on the park site.* Park director and staff with a check-in counter to run the park and family recreation center.* Three indoor basketball courts with volleyball overlay for tournaments.* Lobby area where people can wait to be picked up or dropped off.* Indoor walking/running track above the basketball area with elevator access.* An indoor multi-purpose field for soccer, hockey, football practice, and spectator viewing areas.* Exercise and weight room for fitness programs.* A lounge with television, vending machines, juice bar and magazines for simply relaxing before or after use of the recreation facility.* Indoor tennis courts for tennis and pickle ball with pro shop and tennis pro for lessons and tournaments.* Covered putt-putt golf area.* Daycare center for daily or hourly use.* Multi-purpose for arts and crafts, a stage for concerts, a ballroom and teen dances.* Indoor racquetball courts* Locker rooms, showers, restrooms.* A miscellaneous ballfield with lights.* Paved hiking trails.The recreation center will not take the place of existing organizations at the park.There will continue to be the Free Steamers Locomotive train rides, softball fields, pee-wee football, Casey's Second Chance batting cages, BMX racing, skateboarding, 30 horseshoe pits, picnics, volleyball and more than 100 acres of hiking trails.This is not a Kitsap County Park issue. This park is under the South Kitsap Parks and Recreation District only.Get out to RecFest today and see what the facility is all about. If you care about this community and want to make it a better place, voice your support for the bond issue at RecFest.Josh Morton can be reached at 876-4414, or e-mail at "

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