PORT ORCHARD — Following through on a commitment made nine years ago, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase and sale agreement to transfer ownership of the Kingston Community Center to The Coffee Oasis on March 28.
Proceeds from the sale of the 8,000-square-foot building, appraised for $380,000, will be given to the Kingston Village Green Foundation to assist in development of the new Village Green Community Center, set to open this spring. The agreement will give The Coffee Oasis until June 30 to close on the property and, afterward, an additional contract will transfer the funds to the Village Green Foundation that owns the new building and surrounding park.
“This is a win-win-win for the community,” Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder said. “A former county building will have a new lease on life, Coffee Oasis will have a location that meets its business and programmatic needs for years to come, and proceeds from the sale will help the Village Green Foundation meet their fundraising targets and completion of the new center.”
The current Kingston Community Center, located at 11212 NE State Highway 104, is home to a one-room branch of the Kitsap Regional Library and the Kingston Senior Center. The library and senior center will relocate to the new community center, with greatly increased space and amenities for the services they provide. The new center will also house the North Kitsap Boys & Girls Club, currently situated in a small room at Kingston Middle School; a large commercial kitchen; community meeting rooms; and a gymnasium.
“This is a great opportunity to revitalize a corner of Downtown Kingston, while furthering the mission of two integral organizations in our community,” Gelder noted. “We’re finally able to witness the ushering in of this pivotal moment in the history of the Kingston community. I’m so honored to play a small part, but most assuredly, I’m humbled by the investments of volunteers and donors that have made both projects a reality.”
County commissioners surplussed the older community center last month in anticipation of the new community center opening. Given the increased operational costs of the older facility, and its tenants moving to the new building, the county determined the property was not compatible with long-term governmental or public use. The Village Green Metropolitan Park District, created in 2010, serves as a junior taxing authority and funds collected are used to cover operating and capital costs associated with running the new center.
The Coffee Oasis and local community members have been working to identify a viable location for programs in Kingston for at-risk youth. In addition to creating coffee cafes as community gathering spaces, roasting its own direct-trade coffee beans and providing catering services, The Coffee Oasis youth programs offer resources and opportunities to homeless and street-oriented youth, ages 13 to 25. All proceeds from businesses support youth programs.
“We are excited about this incredible opportunity to partner with the Kingston community in impacting homeless and at-risk youth while at the same time blessing the amazing Village Green community project,” said Dave Frederick, executive director of The Coffee Oasis. “We are very expectant that we can raise the needed funds for the building purchase by June 30 as any funds given toward the building purchase will both support The Coffee Oasis and the Village Green projects. It is a win-win-win.”
Kitsap County purchased the old community center, formerly the Bayside Church, in 1985 to house a senior center and local library branch that had outgrown its room in the Kola Kole Schoolhouse. A local board of directors managed the center until 1997 when the Kitsap County Parks Department took on rentals of the meeting rooms, maintenance and used it as a base for recreational programs. In 1999, another community group formed, later to become the Village Green Foundation, with a goal of funding and building a new community center.
In 2007, county commissioners passed a resolution designating funds from the sale of the current community center for construction of the new center at the Village Green. The county also donated the land purchased in 2006 for $1.7 million that was the site of vacated Navy housing, now part of the park. The county paid for the demolition and abatement of the housing, awarded the Village Green Foundation $600,000 from the land sale where the new Village Green senior housing was built, and turned over most of the additional land, including tennis courts, surrounding Kitsap County Public Works’ wastewater treatment pump station.
For more information on the Kingston Village Green Foundation and Community Center, go to www.kingstonvillagegreen.org.
To learn more about The Coffee Oasis programs, go to https://thecoffeeoasis.com.