PORT TOWNSEND — Residents and community leaders are invited to attend workshops today and Friday on making the 7-acre Mountain View Commons campus a community resiliency and recovery center.
Community members are invited to attend a visioning session from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the gymnasium at Mountain View Commons, 1925 Blaine St.
Two action-planning work sessions are scheduled Friday — one from 9 a.m. to noon and another from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. — both at Fort Worden Commons, 200 Battery Way.
In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected Port Townsend as one of 10 communities across the nation to participate in a Healthy Places for Healthy People planning assistance program.
The program would expand current plans for Mountain View Commons, which now have goals of promoting community health and healthy lifestyles and building relationships. It would add a community resiliency andrecovery program, which would involve planning how the community would handle having and recovering from a natural disaster.
“The purpose of the workshop is to bring together many key stakeholders from the region and explore and refine community needs and desires for a multi-purpose health and resilience center,” said Jeff Randall, communications specialist for YMCA of Jefferson County, in a press release.
The YMCA is one of the stakeholders at the Mountain View campus and will participate in the meetings to help align its planned expansion in Jefferson County with the Health Places for Healthy People planning assistance program.
In June, the YMCA of the Olympic Peninsula staff said they were interested in restarting an expansions project in Jefferson County that was put on hold in October 2015 to focus on reopening an aquatic center in Sequim.
“The original plan developed in 2015 was a 56,000-square-foot facility with a price tag of about $25 million,” said David Engle, former Port Townsend school district superintendent and now the chair of the YMCA project task force, in a press release. “We’ve got to scale that down to a price the community can afford.”
According to the YMCA press release, the task force is looking to cut its project budget to $16 million to $18 million.
EPA officials will be at the workshops to help facilitate the two days worth of meetings and to provide technical and community outreach experts to help with the project.
Also on the Health Places for Healthy People Committee are Karen Affeld of the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council, which applied for the EPA assistance program; Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean, Port Townsend City Manager David Timmons; Len Borchers, CEO of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA; Port Townsend School District Superintendent John Plom; and Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn.