March 30, 2016 - 3:30 PM
CITY HALL EXTENSION AT LEAST NINE YEARS AWAY
KELOWNA - With space for employees at a premium, plans are to spend about $2 million next year renovating the basement of Kelowna City Hall.
“We’re full, I would say that,” buildings planning manager Robert Parlane says.
Council has yet to approve the basement renovation plan but must do something to alleviate short-term crowding, Parlane adds.
“We are at capacity at the moment. The renovation of the basement will free up more space. It is an old layout and very inefficient. We’re hoping that will take us through to the expansion in 2025."
Long-term plans for a $12-million extension of city hall are on the books but aren’t scheduled to begin until 2025.
Designs have yet to be produced on the extension project, which would have city hall expand south toward Queensway Avenue or north into what is now the main parking lot.
Completion of Memorial Parkade later this year will allow bylaw services to centralize and move into a two-storey space fronting onto Ellis Street.
“We’re trying to keep an active space on the the street facade,” Parlane says. “It’s part of the Simpson covenant, we can’t put in a commercial use.”
The current City Hall is built on land sold cheaply to the city in 1945 by Stanley Simpson, a local mill owner, who stipulated the land be used only for civic purposes.
It has been renovated and added onto many times over the years, Parlane says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016