The drive to build a community center in Kingston came from a number of converging issues and events.
First was the woefully lacking existing community center. Located on a traffic island in the middle of State Route 104 near the ferry terminal in Kingston, the aging 8,000 square foot building housed a cramped one-room library and a senior center that was not ADA accessible. In fact, due to the steady stream of arriving and departing ferry traffic, the building was not safely accessible by pedestrians of any age.
The death of two teenagers by suicide sent a tragic shock wave throughout the community and highlighted the lack of resources available for youth.
A census report documenting the harsh reality that one in four Kingston senior residents live in poverty (highest in the Kitsap County) underscored the need to expand accessible services for this segment of our community.
In 1999, a group of concerned citizens came together to respond to these community needs by establishing the Kingston Community Center Foundation -- which later became the Village Green Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization formed for the purpose of raising money and building a community center. When a Kitsap Regional Library levy failed, it solidified the plan to include a new Kingston branch along with a Boys & Girls Club and senior center in the new community center.
Concerned about the cost of operating the community center once it was built, the Village Green Foundation went into action again and asked the voters to support the formation of a Metropolitan Park District in 2010. The people of Kingston stepped up and approved the formation of the Village Green Metropolitan Park District for the purpose of covering the operating and capital costs associated with running the new center.
After more than a decade of fundraising, the Village Green Foundation's Board of Directors had building plans and 3/4 of the project's $9.1 million price tag in hand. Noting that construction costs could rise and momentum could slow, the Foundation's board hoped to break ground in the spring of 2015. Three generous local families stepped up to provide bridge financing for the remaining funds, and construction began.
In April 2016 we dedicated our new Village Green Community Center!