PORT ORCHARD — With a site having been chosen by a team from architectural firm Rice Fergus Miller of Bremerton, it’s now up to the Port Orchard City Council to formally confirm the choice of where the new South Kitsap Community Events Center will sit when councilmembers meet at their Jan. 12 regular session at City Hall.
Mayor Rob Putaansuu indicated Monday that he will notify the Kitsap Public Facilities District board of directors of the site selection team’s decision at their regularly scheduled meeting at the end of January.
The 24,000-square-foot facility will be sited at the current location of Kitsap Bank just off Bay Street next to the Sinclair Inlet waterfront. Three sites were considered by the Rice Fergus Miller selection team and more than 600 residents weighed in with their opinions extracted from a community outreach survey commissioned by RFM this fall.
“The response to the survey was exceptional and enlightening,” Putaansuu said of the outreach effort. “Our citizens expressed the need for a flexible facility where they could attend celebrations and civic events, take classes and congregate with friends indoors and outdoors year-round.”
Steve Rice, a Rice Fergus Miller Architecture partner and lead architect for the project, said as a result of the input from citizens and design experts, access to the water and the ability to allow events to spill out onto a waterfront public plaza, including covered outdoor space, will be featured in the facility’s design.
The $20 million project was allocated up to $12 million in phased funding from the Kitsap Public Facilities District in 2019. The Port Orchard branch of Kitsap Regional Library also will be part of the new facility.
“Kitsap Bank is looking forward to working with the city to make the SKCEC a reality and being part of the redevelopment of downtown Port Orchard, where we’ve been headquartered for over 112 years,” said Tony George, Kitsap Bank’s president.
Putaansuu said the city anticipates the planning and design phase for the project will continue into 2022. It is part of a long-term downtown master plan that will incorporate Kitsap Bank’s new headquarters and residential and commercial space. He said parking requirements and reclamation of the waterfront are also being addressed in a long-term redevelopment plan.