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Kingston community center undergoes changes

KINGSTON — The community center will be the center of attention tonight at the Kingston Citizen’s Advisory Committee meeting.

The committee is scheduled to hear from county officials on the status of staffing the center at 7 p.m. tonight at where else — the Kingston Community Center.

Cris Gears, director of Kitsap County Parks and Recreation and Chris Endresen, Kitsap County commissioner, will address questions regarding the hiring of Terry Pratt and Cy Wyse to oversee the maintenance and scheduling for the center.

“It’s going great,” Pratt said about taking the helm a few months ago.

“I’m as happy as a clam,” he said, adding that in the past six months he has seen the use of the building go up significantly.

“There is a lot more stuff going on here,” Pratt said.

The community center, which some people have described as dilapidated, seemed to be fading away as talks of the Highway 104 expansion began. Until Initiative-695, the state had discussed purchasing the center, then demolishing it. Now with these projects on hold indefinitely, county officials decided the center would be best left in the hands of the people who use it.

The employment contract has not yet been made final, but Pratt has already gotten some teen programming started with Thursday night activities. For janitorial services and overall upkeep of the building, Pratt gets “first dibs” on any times the building is available.

Up until a few months ago, this seemed to be most of the time.

The NK Teen Club has set up roost in the Kingston Community Center with Thursday night activities for junior high-aged students.

“We want to invest in people who want to invest in people,” said Zachary Pratt, program director.

The session runs from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. with videos, games and music. Included with that is a 10-15 minute talk about a certain issue the teens could or are having to deal with.

“We want to show them you can have a great time drug and alcohol-free in a safe place,” Zachary said.

About 60 teens attended last week’s session.

“We want to increase the success of our youth,” he said.

To join the teen club, come to the community center on Thursday night. In the near future, a high school night will be offered as well as after school programming.

For information contact Zachary or Terry Pratt at (360) 297-2150.

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