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PFD allocates regional events center funding

POULSBO — PFD Chair Linda Berry-Maraist was thrilled to announce the Kitsap Public Facilities District has allocated $550,000 more to the North Kitsap Regional Events center Phase 1 project. The official decision on the matter came in late October and brought the total Kitsap PFD commitment to $1.45 million for the project.

The four entities working toward improving recreational opportunities in North Kitsap include the Kitsap PFD, Kitsap County, the city of Poulsbo and the North Kitsap School District. The quartet is presently pooling funds for the installation of synthetic turf at North Kitsap Stadium as well as the installation of turf at Strawberry Field No. 8.

The total commitment from the entities for the entire NK REC project is $2.2 million. Construction is expected to begin this summer and is slated for completion in fall 2008.

“Its going to make (installation of turf) at Strawberry Field a reality,” Berry-Maraist said of the additional $550,000. “Right now Strawberry Field is limited because of the grass fields. When completed it will give kids a chance to play on a field that won’t get torn up during the season. The PFD is really happy to do this for the North End. When completed it will undoubtedly be a great benefit to the area. This is a big achievement.”

Berry-Maraist said she hopes the installation of turf at North Kitsap Stadium and Strawberry Field will take place sooner rather than later.

“There’s going to be a push to get the field turfed (at North Kitsap Stadium) in the 12 weeks immediately following graduation. We want to make sure home football games can be played there,” she said. “We’re shooting for a 12-week construction period.”

NKSD Capital Programs Director Robin Shoemaker was also pleased with the announcement of the PFD’s allotment of $550,000 toward Strawberry Field.

“Its really a big deal for Strawberry Field. All of those new funds will go towards Strawberry,” she said.

Shoemaker said the NKSD is expected to open up bidding to potential contractors in February regarding the installation of synthetic turf at North Kitsap Stadium.

“We’re planning on opening bidding in February,” she said. “By mid-March my goal is that we’ll be in a position to award the bid to a contractor.”

Shoemaker said it’s important to open the bidding process early to give the selected contractor sufficient time to complete the project.

“Last year, the project didn’t go to bid until June and the contractor that could have been awarded the bid only would’ve had 58 days to complete the project,” she said. The school board decided to reject all bids at a school board meeting July 2. “The amount of time was inadequate.”

Shoemaker said the time frame is likely to be wider this time around.

“This year, we’re hoping for a 12-week construction period. If we can award a bid in mid-March it would give the contractor 180 days for planning, and then 12-week window after graduation for construction,” she said. “The pre-construction window is the key to success for the field construction, because all preliminary mobilization and materials procurement can occur to allow for efficient and optimal field installation.”

Shoemaker said the installation of turf at North Kitsap Stadium and Strawberry Field No. 8 will have a lasting effect in the community.

“We already have a great community asset at Kingston High School with the synthetic turf field,” she said. “By next year we should have two more fields with turf which will be a tremendous resource to the community. It will not only benefit athletes, but students as well when they use those fields in their physical education classes. It will be exciting for the whole North End community.”

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