County partners with school district in upgrade to athletic fields

CENTRAL KITSAP — The Central Kitsap School District approved a memorandum of understanding March 22 with the Kitsap County Parks Department, granting CKSD use of the six tennis courts at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, located adjacent to the district’s Olympic High School.

The school’s tennis program has utilized and shared the use the facilities for years. The Kitsap County Commissioners are scheduled to approve the tennis court MOU in April.

The agreement will transfer liability and the responsibilities of renovating, managing and maintaining the courts to the school district. The agreement will not affect the public use of the courts, which will continue on a first-come, first-served basis, outside of scheduled school functions.

“The ability of the county to develop partnerships such as these, to maximize community resources for the benefit of the community, is a terrific model for efficient and effective government,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe. “The recent agreements create a great win-win for the schools and community.”

Wolfe anticipates that Kitsap County Parks and the school district will continue to discuss possibilities for similar agreements in the future.

The agreement follows an inter-local agreement the county signed with the school district in 2016 pertaining to the upgrading of athletic field serving Klahowya Secondary School, built on county parkland within Newberry Hill Heritage Park. Again, the district assumed liability of the facilities and funding for all upgrades.

Since then, the district has prepared developmental plans for a $2.4 million project to improve the fields, provide accessible access and possibly upgrade restroom and concession buildings. The county reviewed the plans and provided written consent for the project to move forward, as is required in the agreement.

“Continuing this decades-long partnership aids our efforts to provide quality athletic facilities for our students and our community,” said CKSD Superintendent David McVicker. The school district and county have worked together on the athletic complex next to Olympic High since 1976.

Along with other community partners such as the Public Facilities District, the county and school district continue to discuss a possible extension of a similar agreement to additional athletic facilities at the fairgrounds.