The Fort Worden Public Development Authority announced its plan for renovations and upgrades to a number of buildings on Fort Worden in 2017. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

‘Glamping’ among development ideas considered for Fort Worden

PORT TOWNSEND — The Fort Worden Public Development Authority executive committee is considering the idea of turning Fort Worden into a “glamping” destination for tourists looking for something a little fancier than the usual tent or RV.

The PDA executive committee released its plans for 2017, which include capital improvement projects and operations upgrades around the state park, during a meeting Tuesday.

Plans are tentative; the PDA board won’t consider approving the budget until Dec. 19.

On Tuesday, when committee members sought to narrow down priority projects for the coming year, projects were broken into two categories: capital and operations initiatives.

Among the ideas are placing platform tent “glamping,” or upgraded camping, facilities on the hillside behind Building 297.

The PDA had five capital projects proposed for 2017, according to the documents handed out at Tuesday’s meeting.

Those include the ongoing design process for Makers Square, an arts and education campus on Fort Worden.

The design of Building 305, which is expected to be the focal point of the square, is in phase two.

That renovation is expected to cost $7,598,646, according to the budget presented at Tuesday’s meeting.

Upgrades planned for 2017 include new audio-visual equipment for the USO Hall and improvements across Fort Worden to make the park more energy-efficient.

Interior renovations for Buildings 4 and 16, two of the historic homes along Pershing Avenue, are expected to be completed in 2017. Renovations on Building 4 are underway now.

Some of the capital projects overlapped with operations, such as new audio-visual equipment.

However, the plan also included an upgrade to the commons — adding retail, updating the cafe and deck; refreshing the chapel at the entrance of the State Park; adding parking, laundry and kitchen spaces to some of the rental buildings; and creating a sustainability plan that would include a new recycling system and take advantage of PUD incentives.

A budget is expected to be presented to the PDA board Nov. 30.

The Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Public Development Authority took over management of the 90-acre campus portion of Fort Worden State Park in 2014. Washington State Parks runs the rest of Fort Worden.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.