T&C pledges $1,000 to Fort Ward Community Hall project

Town & Country Markets, Inc., has pledged $1,000 toward the Fort Ward Community Hall project.

Larry Nakata of Town & Country cited the opportunity to promote historic preservation on Bainbridge Island, and to meet the need for a community hall at the island’s south end.

“We’re very pleased and proud to have our name associated with the effort,” Nakata said.

Douglas Crist, founding director of Friends of Fort Ward, the neighborhood group raising funds for the community hall project, expressed gratitude to Town & Country Markets for their support.

“Receiving the endorsement of the Town & Country organization is pretty much the ‘gold medal’ for community projects on Bainbridge Island,” Crist said. “To say we’re very honored by their gift would be an understatement.”

The community hall campaign will restore Fort Ward’s historic “bakery building” for use as a small public hall like those in the Seabold, Island Center and Yeomalt neighborhoods.

The project’s first phase will bring the building up to standard for public use, lowering the floor to its original level and reconfiguring the interior space with a new kitchen and restroom. A future phase will bring the building back to a more complete and accurate historic restoration, with interpretive displays showing Fort Ward’s history as a U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps outpost during World War I, and a Navy radio station during World War II.

The building is owned by Kitsap County Sewer District No. 7, and will be managed by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District.

Most of Fort Ward, a nationally recognized historic district, was surplussed by the federal government in 1960, and the bakery building has served as a private residence off and on since that time. It was purchased in 2007 by KCSD7, which operates the Fort Ward wastewater treatment plant, and the district will retain a small corner office in the building.

Pledge sheets for the Fort Ward Community Hall project can be downloaded elsewhere on the website.

Any community group or potential donor who would like more information on the project can email fortwardhall@gmail.com to arrange a presentation and building tour.