Survey says… Poulsbo wants the PERC

Survey says … there’s near unanimous support and demand for the Poulsbo Events and Recreation Center to expand operations.

Nearly 1,300 of Poulsbo’s 11,000 residents participated in the survey in October that asked what they would like PERC to offer. There were four sections of the survey covering indoor and outdoor activities, as well as recreation programs and event spaces.

“The survey results and comments overwhelmingly support a community facility that offers indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities, classes and activities for all ages, multipurpose event spaces and partnerships to make it happen,” read the key findings from the PERC Steering Committee.

The data shows that 83 percent of respondents stated that they want a pool/aquatic center for indoor activities, 85 percent want walking and running trails outside, 86 percent want recreation designed for adults and 36 percent want PERC to include a performing arts space.

Other portions of the survey asked how they felt about PERC being used by Olympic College students as the facility will be built across the street from its campus. 64 percent said they were in favor, but many indicated they want the facility to be separate from the North Kitsap School District, so that access is easier to come by.

“There is a strong desire to seek opportunities with our local education providers for the PERC to offer activities for high school and college students, and PERC funding through a combination of private, public and voted bonds was supported by a majority of respondents,” the steering committee said.

The survey data also shows that 72 percent are in favor of multiple funding sources to build and maintain PERC, with 53 percent in favor of a ballot measure. However many of the comments indicated that a bond measure may not be as supported as the data indicates.

Comments also indicated other things the public favored, such as lighted sports fields, splash pads, indoor soccer field, childcare, classes and programs for all ages, and affordability.

The data collected from the survey is going to be put through a market analysis, for further sharing with the community, the focus of which will be on the needs and wants, but also addressing concerns on funding and impact on facilities that already meet some of these needs within the community.

Throughout March the public can anticipate in an online open house designed to provide additional input on next steps for the PERC project.

If all goes as planned the timeline has the PERC being constructed by 2026.