Parks Foundation gives $1,000 grant to FW Community Hall campaign

FORT WARD, BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation has awarded $1,000 to the Fort Ward Community Hall project through its community grant program for 2016.

bipf-logo-newThe grant is the second in as many years from the Parks Foundation to support renovation of the historic bakery building at Fort Ward as a public park facility.

Friends of Fort Ward and the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, which are partnering on the community hall project, hope to begin work on the building next summer and have the building open for public use by the end of 2017.

“We’re couldn’t more grateful for the Parks Foundation’s ongoing support,” said Douglas Crist, Friends of Fort Ward board president. “Their grants have really helped cover up-front costs like project permits. They’re a big part of our success to date.”

Barb Trafton, BIPF executive director, said the foundation is delighted to support the ongoing progress of the bakery building restoration.

“The new Community Hall that this project will bring to the south end of the island, and to the community as a whole, will create a terrific new home for all sorts of recreational programs and classes,” Trafton said. “We admire the passionate dedication of the Friends of Fort Ward and applaud the efforts of this neighborhood-led initiative.”

Five grants were announced by the Parks Foundation, to help fund park improvements and programs around the island.

Other grants will support:

  • Two drinking fountains with bottle fillers for the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center
  • An inflatable movie screen for use at the Movies In The Park series
  • A vault system for gymnastics programs at the Battle Point Transmitter Building
  • A covered practice facility at Rotary Park for Little League Baseball

Both the Fort Ward Community Hall project and the Parks Foundation are participating in the One Call For All “Red Envelope” campaign, now underway.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made online at www.onecallforall.org.

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The community hall project will see restoration of the 1910 bakery building at Fort Ward for use as an indoor public park facility, joining the local ranks of Seabold and Island Center Halls and Camp Yeomalt.

An interpretive component will note the fort’s place in the Puget Sound coast defense network in the early 20th century, and its significant role in top-secret Navy radio communications and codebreaking during World War II.

The project is a three-way partnership between the Friends of Fort Ward, a 501(c)3 neighborhood group, the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, and Kitsap County (Fort Ward) Sewer District No. 7.

Friends of Fort Ward and the Park District are now finalizing the building renovation schedule for mid-2017.

The Park District is lead contractor on the restoration. OTWB Inc. of Bainbridge Island will act as project manager, with Wenzlau Architects and Browne Wheeler Engineers providing professional services.

The project has previously earned grants from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the Bainbridge Community Foundation, the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, and the Suquamish Foundation, and donor-advised support from the Kitsap Community Foundation and the Seattle Foundation.

In September, BCF honored the Fort Ward Youth Advisory Committee as the 2016 Young Philanthropists of the Year.

Prospective donors can tour the bakery building and find out more about the project by emailing fortwardhall@gmail.com.

Information: www.fortwardhall.org and www.biparksfoundation.org.