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A new look brightens an old friend

KINGSTON — Those who helped with the recent upgrades and renovations to the Kingston Community Center expect their kids and grandkids to take advantage of their work.

The idea of future generations utilizing the building was the theme of the Oct. 18 dedication ceremony for the newly renovated community center.

The center is already used for the Kingston library, children’s programs, athletic classes and as a place for senior citizens to gather. But now all the activities can be done without a leaky roof or a gravel parking lot.

The organizations, companies and individuals involved in this summer’s remodeling of the center gathered last Saturday to celebrate the remodeling of the popular building.

Over the past six months, a new roof was installed, new sidewalks were poured and the gravel parking lot was paved and striped. Landscaping by the entrance and on the corners of State Route 104 and Iowa will soon be completed and new benches by the entrance will be dedicated to Kingston residents Sammy Quinn and the late Phyllis Fairchild.

“It’s a rebirth of this building and I think it’s pretty special,” said County Commissioner Chris Endresen. Commissioners Patty Lent and Jan Angel were also present to recognize the community’s efforts. The commissioners and Kingston resident Cy Wyse, who spearheaded the renovations, awarded certificates of appreciation to those who donated their time, labor and supplies at a reduced rate.

“Every one of those plaques represents anything from five to 50 phone calls,” said KCC director Terry Pratt, commending Wyse for his tireless efforts to get the community involved.

The Kingston Kiwanis, Kingston Revitalization Association, Kitsap County, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue and local construction, roof, lumber, concrete, landscape and contract companies were among the many groups and businesses involved.

“This building is a perfect idea of what happens when the private sector and government work together,” Endresen said.

Kitsap County Parks and Recreation special projects and volunteer coordinator Dori Lechner said the project was a prime example of how big projects in small communities get done, especially with a county government on a tight budget. The building is owned by the county but is maintained and run by volunteers.

“This is the only way this is going to happen,” Lechner said. “Whether it’s in North, Central or South (Kitsap), we have to do it as a community.”

Scott Zufelt, owner of Zufelt Contracting, was one of the many business owners who donated company time to the renovations.

“It takes a community to build a business,” Zufelt said. “It was nice to give back and show something.”

Zufelt recalled when he was growing up in Kingston and would come to the center for holiday events and dances. He even played baseball for Wyse.

“They were talking about closing it for awhile,” Zufelt said. “I’d hate to see that happen.”

The other big project within the center was the addition of the new Kingston Chamber of Commerce office. The old foyer was widened and new windows were installed. A desk for a Chamber of Commerce volunteer has been added as well. Brochures and maps of Kingston and Washington are already sitting on top of the desk for guests and visitors.

“As time goes, we’ll just try and fill in,” said Chamber past president Kathleen Sutton.

The old chamber office, essentially a small one-room building across the highway from the center, will be removed in the near future, Sutton said.

The next step for the community center is to get funds to renovate the inside, Wyse said, noting painting needs to be done and doors need to be replaced.

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