Building 305 at Fort Worden is currently being renovated as part of the multi-million dollar Makers Square project that the Fort Worden Public Development Authority is overseeing. The building will be the eventual new home of KPTZ Radio. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Building 305 at Fort Worden is currently being renovated as part of the multi-million dollar Makers Square project that the Fort Worden Public Development Authority is overseeing. The building will be the eventual new home of KPTZ Radio. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Makers Square collaboration receives $654,000 in grants

Fort Worden PDA and KPTZ Radio to benefit from funding

PORT TOWNSEND — The renovation of Building 305 at Fort Worden will benefit from two grants that support the efforts of the Fort Worden Public Development Authority and Radio Port Townsend.

Building 305, the former Quartermaster Storehouse, is currently being renovated as part of the $13.4 million Makers Square capital project that has been under construction since July and is expected to be completed by summer 2020.

The two grants are from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, which awarded $500,000 to the public development authority and $154,000 to Radio Port Townsend (KPTZ), said Megan Claflin, public relations manager of the PDA.

“The Murdock Charitable Trust is a highly competitive and highly esteemed foundation,” said PDA Executive Director Dave Robison. “To have received such a generous and distinguished gift is a testament to the vibrancy of the Fort Worden community and its mission to provide life-changing, creative programming.”

Makers Square is a new creative district being developed at Fort Worden that will allow artists, craftsmen and makers to create, collaborate, educate and connect with new audiences, Claflin said.

KPTZ radio will be the anchor tenant of Building 305. The grant will help with upgrades of the building’s basement where KPTZ is building a state-of-the-art facility that will more than double the amount of space compared to the current studios at Mountain View Commons, said Kate Ingram, KPTZ general manager.

“Applying to Murdock was rigorous and exacting, and awards are given based on thorough evaluation of an applicant’s organizational strength,” Robert Ambrose, KPTZ board president said. “It’s a prestigious endorsement of our organization and the station’s future goals.”

KPTZ entered into an agreement with the PDA after the station was informed two years ago it would have to vacate the Mountain View campus due to Mountain View’s parking lot redesign, Ingram said.

“Ours is a once-in-a-generation project to build a new home for KPTZ, and we’ve been extraordinarily successful thanks to the dedication of our volunteer staff and generosity of the community,” Ambrose said. “Receiving this grant from Murdock ensures that all funds necessary are available to construct and equip the new station.”

To date, the PDA has raised more than $12.1 million — 90 percent of the $13.4 million campaign goal — through federal and state funding sources and philanthropic gifts, Claflin said.

Phase one of the Makers Square renovations included the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of three historic buildings — 305, 308 and 324 — and will provide 25,000 square feet of new space, capable of supporting multidisciplinary programming. Phase two construction will start after the PDA’s capital campaign is complete, Claflin said.

“Makers Square Phase II will focus on site improvements to balance pedestrian and vehicle traffic surrounding the facilities, and to build visual and physical connections between the creative, interpretive spaces and the public,” said Robison.

The area for Makers Square is located behind Taps at the Guardhouse, a pub and eatery at 300 Eisenhower Ave. near the entrance to Fort Worden.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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