“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s Juliet wanted to know.
I mention this now because name confusion has come to our Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center and I feel the need to sort it out.
I suspect my explanation may lack some Shakespearian eloquence, but I’ll give it a try anyway.
If you’ve been by our building lately, you may have noticed the words Waterfront Park Community Center over the central doors to the Commons. My first reaction on seeing this was to wonder, am I having a senior moment? I thought our name was the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center.
I’ve learned that other members, including some of our volunteers, were also perplexed when they saw the new name on our building. It was nice to hear that others were as confused as I was. Misery loves company. But why the change?
Before the present reconstruction, the building that housed our activities was usually referred to as the Commons.
In actuality, the structure consisted of three separate buildings: two cottages that were once private homes, joined by a newer center part, the Commons.
On the west was the senior center. The cottage on the east was home to the local Kitsap Health Center until a few years ago, when it too became available for senior center use.
The current remodel created a more integrated, same level structure, a single unit that is home to the senior center and the Commons. As a shared building, calling it solely the Commons no longer fit. In fact, even the part that is the Commons isn’t to be called that anymore.
Some additional history is due here.
Funding from the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club made the construction of the Commons possible. They wished to honor one of their earliest members, Judd Huney, who was the force behind the establishment of the annual Rotary Auction, an island tradition that has raised funds for a myriad of nonprofits and good causes on the island over the years.
The Commons will now be known as Huney Hall. This will not only fulfill the original wishes of the Rotary Club, but clear up any confusion with other Commons located on the island, such as the one at Bainbridge High School.
Geographically, our newly remodeled building is part of the Waterfront Park it faces. For this reason, the Bainbridge Island City Council decided it should be called the Waterfront Park Community Center.
Are there any other name changes for us to get used to?
Of course. A new building deserves some new interior monikers as well. The east wing will still be called that, but its front room will be referred to as the living room. The entry area to Huney Hall will be known as the atrium. The west wing is the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center. What had been its living room now has a much cozier name, the Fireside Room.
So, clarity at last. We are still the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center, sharing the Waterfront Park Community Center with Huney Hall.
Any questions? Don’t sweat them. When our remodeled home opens, we’ll quickly learn what to call its different parts.
And as fair Juliet said, all those years ago, what’s in a name, anyway?