Kitsap Children’s Musical Theatre moves to Breidablik

Kitsap Children
Kitsap Children's Musical Theatre moved into Breidablik Elementary in early June 2014.
— image credit: File photo

POULSBO — Breidablik Elementary School will be a little less empty for the time being: Kitsap Children's Musical Theatre moved to the school last week, KCMT board president Gene Johnson said June 11.

The theater group, which performs about four or five shows per year at North Kitsap Auditorium, had "a few things" left to move as of June 11, according to Johnson.

The benefit of moving to Breidablik is that it's heated, Johnson said. The district will also be responsible for major fixes to the building, such as a leaking roof.

Prior to its current location, the theater group occupied the former Courtesy Ford site on Viking Avenue, which it considered purchasing. The site was more centralized for the families involved in KCMT; Johnson said most families live in central Poulsbo, or are from the surrounding north end or Bainbridge Island. "Right where we were at was ideal," Johnson said.

In moving, the theater group is getting "a lot less space," Johnson said. The Ford building was 40,000 square feet. At Breidablik, the theater group will rent about 10 rooms, including the library.  The theater group will be there for the "foreseeable future," Johnson said. It will rent on a year-to-year basis.

The North Kitsap School Board voiced its approval of the theater group moving to Breidablik in January during a workshop. The board reviewed its contract with KCMT during the June 11 meeting.

The school district closed Breidablik at the end of the 2012-13 school year to reduce the district’s expenses in the wake of districtwide enrollment declines and reductions in state revenue. The district estimated a first-year savings of about $300,000 after expenses from closing the school and the fees the district incurred during an appeal of the closure.

A standard facility use agreement was made between the district and KCMT. It's the regular facility policies and procedures, Superintendent Patty Page said. There will be different costs for different size rooms.

"It's a very exciting opportunity for us to support a community group," Page said.

The theater group will be expected to clean up after itself, but as far as maintenance projects, that will be left up to the district. Because the building costs money to maintain, Page didn't say the agreement with KCMT would increase district funding, but would be "cost neutral."

The theater group will pay about $135 per room per month, Johnson said. Johnson tried to negotiate lowering the rent to a "caretaker fee," but there was "no slack at all," he said.

During its time in the dealership, KCMT did not pay rent, Johnson said. However, it did pay utilities and was required to maintain the building, which included any major fixes. In the end, Johnson said it will cost about the same to lease space at Breidablik as it did at the car dealership.

The theater group will know how much it will pay each month, which will be a benefit. Johnson said the bills from the Ford dealership would vary. The group operates on ticket sales, grants and donations, which is "a variable," Johnson said.

While operating out of Breidablik, KCMT will continue to find a more permanent residence. Something in central Poulsbo would be best, Johnson said.



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