The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation has awarded a grant of $3,000 to the Fort Ward Community Hall project.
The project will see restoration of the historic Fort Ward bakery building to create a public hall at the island’s south end. The grant was awarded to Friends of Fort Ward, the nonprofit neighborhood organization raising funds for the building restoration.
The Fort Ward Community Hall project is a collaborative effort of Friends of Fort Ward, the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District, and Kitsap County Sewer District No. 7.
“The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation enthusiastically supports the Fort Ward Community Hall project,” said Barbara Trafton, foundation executive director. “This partnership between a neighborhood group, the south Bainbridge sewer district and the Park District provides a terrific opportunity to create a meeting and gathering center for the south end of the island.”
The Parks Foundation’s annual Community Challenge Grants support citizen-inspired capital projects that improve local parks, trails and recreation opportunities. The Fort Ward grant was one of several announced by the foundation this week.
“We’re grateful to the Parks Foundation for their generous support,” said Ellie Montaperto, a Friends of Fort Ward board member. “Each new contribution we receive shows the island’s strong commitment to historic preservation and honoring those who served at Fort Ward over the years.”
The project will see restoration of the historic brick bakery building on Evergreen Drive, constructed in 1910 as part of the US Army Coast Artillery Corps installation at Fort Ward. The building was repurposed as a power station to support the fort’s Naval Radio Station during World War II. It became a private residence after the fort was decommissioned in 1960.
The restored building will include an 1,100 square-foot central hall for meetings and classes, with an adjacent kitchen facility. It will join Seabold Hall, Island Center Hall and Camp Yeomalt as local historic buildings that have been preserved for public use.
The Sewer District, which purchased the building in 2007, will maintain ownership and keep a small corner office for its utility operations. The rest of the building will be managed and programmed by the Park District under an interlocal agreement.