‘Regional events center’ gets $147K for improvements

POULSBO — The Kitsap Public Facilities District is granting the North Kitsap Regional Events Center $147,500 for improvements, the first major funding for the collection of public venues since 2008.

The North Kitsap Regional Events Center is the city and school district’s designation for the 82-acre site of fields and other public-use facilities on or near the North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo Middle School and Poulsbo Elementary School campuses along Hostmark Street and Noll Road. The city and the school district partnered on a grant request to KPFD in 2006.

The regional events center includes North Kitsap Stadium; 10 multi-use sports fields, including Strawberry Field; and the community pool and theater.

At KPFD’s June 10 board meeting, the directors funded $132,000 for stormwater improvements and $15,500 for improvements to Strawberry Field.

Patrick Olsen, North Kitsap School District’s athletic director, helped write the grant application. He said district and city officials will meet soon to work together as project managers. He said they hope the stormwater funding can be used as a match to apply for more grants.

The parking lots contribute a lot of stormwater runoff, Olsen said, and the KPFD funding will go toward installing rain gardens, tree boxes and pervious pavement. The soccer and lacrosse goals at Strawberry Field will be replaced, and new bleachers will be installed.

The regional events center was identified as such because of its central location to transportation and the area’s youth, and the willingness of the school district to make the facilities available for non-school-related community use, according to the master plan.

The plan includes adding 2,000 square feet to the community pool, for a spa, water slide and party room; and building a 35,000-square-foot special events center, for gymnastics and other sporting events, trade shows and dances, with multi-use rooms for meetings and classes.

The total estimated cost for all phases of improvements is $27 million. Funding sources will likely be a mix of partner allocations, grants, community support, and bond issues, depending on the nature of the improvement, according to the master plan.

“The formation of the North Kitsap Regional [Events Center] made a formal recognition of the community use of those facilities, and [formalized] it into a partnership that would continue to contribute to its growth,” said Mike Walton, executive director of KPFD.

The state Legislature founded public facilities districts in 2004 to help fund projects that serve a wider community. In Kitsap, the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, the Kitsap Fairgrounds and Event Center and the North Kitsap Regional Events Center qualify for PFD funding. KPFD receives .033 percent of sales tax from Kitsap County and its incorporated cities. Walton said KPFD funding was on hold during the recession, but revenue has recently picked up.


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