City of Port Orchard Awards Community Center Design Project to Rice Fergus Miller
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Mayor’s Office
July 29, 2020
Bremerton-based Architecture & Planning Firm to Begin Phase One Research and Design Work
PORT ORCHARD — The City of Port Orchard took a step forward in its long-term planning around a new multi-use community center by awarding a Phase 1 design contract to Rice Fergus Miller (RFM) architecture firm in Bremerton. The City Council awarded the contract during the July 28 regular meeting.
The South Kitsap Community Events Center (SKCEC) is a collaboration between the City of Port Orchard, and the Kitsap Regional library. Concepts suggested a 24,000-square-foot multi-use facility that includes 9,000 square feet for the new Library. In 2019, the Kitsap Public Funding District allocated up to $12 million in phased funding to support the project.
Under Rice Fergus Miller’s guidance, potential sites will be studied to determine the most optimal location for the community center. Initial concepts placed the new facility in downtown Port Orchard with a project scope that would include shoreline restoration, public open space, and parking solutions. Public input will be sought in the determination of the building uses and design amenities, according to Steve Rice, RFM partner and lead architect.
“The CEC will bring to our side of the water a fantastic setting for gathering, for celebrating, and for learning,” he said. “It’s a first-of-its kind facility for the South Kitsap area where community roots run deep. Users will come from out of the area too, which is good for the economy, and it will be a catalyst for other development in Port Orchard.
“In addition to the meeting space and new library, the CEC will connect with and embrace the waterfront, which is a huge opportunity, and long overdue. It will set a standard for how to develop new projects respectfully in a town with a strong sense of its history. We’ll look at the potential for shoreline restoration, and the CEC will be a boost for merchants and encourage other businesses to call downtown home. We are honored to work on this landmark project.”
Nationally acclaimed Rice Fergus Miller is well-known for pioneering the design of modern, flexible gathering spaces in Kitsap County through large-scale projects that marry aesthetic with sustainable design. Notably the firm is behind the Quincy Square renewal project in downtown Bremerton, new life in Silverdale, the Centennial in Poulsbo and the new library and shared community meeting spaces starting construction in Silverdale. The firm’s office studio has become a defacto community hall in Bremerton in its own right.
RFM won the contract after a national search through a public bidding process. The $400,000 agreement for Phase 1 includes site studies and initial design concepts for the community center.
“The planners and architects with RFM understand our community,” said Mayor Putaansuu. “Their team will ensure that we maintain the character that defines Port Orchard while creating a community center that will serve us for generations. The process will involve local voices starting immediately so please take the opportunity to participate as requests come out in the upcoming weeks and months.”
For more information on this project and opportunities to participate in the public process visit https://www.imagineportorchard.com/