Fort Worden campus plan topic of meeting

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — A postponement from January to May of the transfer of the Fort Worden State Park campus area to a public development authority’s management will not slow its momentum, according to the PDA executive director.

“People are looking forward to this,” Dave Robison said of the transition. “I don’t think the delay will make a difference.”

State Parks is planning a public meeting Tuesday to provide details of the terms of a draft 50-year lease with the Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority for co-management of the park near Port Townsend.

The agreement is expected to outline how the Port Townsend Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority could manage the campus area of Fort Worden State Park — about one-fourth of the 434-acre park, which contains most of the buildings — as an academic campus, or “lifelong learning center,” while the state continues to manage the rest of the park.

One of the changes in the proposed arrangement is that the transition, originally scheduled for Jan. 1, has been pushed back to May 1, Robison has said.

Details of the draft 50-year lease are expected to be in place by 7 p.m. Tuesday, when State Parks will open a public meeting on the agreement with the public development authority for co-management of Fort Worden State Park, said Virginia Painter, spokeswoman for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Public comment of the new draft will be taken at the meeting at the Commons Building at Fort Worden, 200 Battery Way.

The PDA’s board met in an executive session Thursday morning to discuss the lease proposal, especially duration of the lease, transition plans and Discover Pass exemptions, Robison said.

“We are still looking at the terms and conditions,” Robison said, adding that the board plans to send the state another draft today.

The public development authority board will consider Thursday submitting the draft lease agreement to the State Parks commission.

The special meeting is set from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cotton Building, 607 Water St., Port Townsend.

Robison expects the state commission to act on the lease proposal at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at its regular meeting in Anacortes.

A unanimous vote is required for commission approval of any 50-year lease.

Under the lifelong learning center concept, the academic campus would be managed by the PDA to offer educational and recreational options, while State Parks would manage the camping, beach and recreation areas of the park while the Port Townsend-based PDA handles conference management, program and event management, visitor services, marketing and sales and new facility development.

For more information on the PDA, visit

For information about state commission meetings, visit

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or

Last modified: July 28. 2013 6:27PM
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