April 30, 2013 - 2:00 AM
BUT PROJECT IS ALREADY $2.4 MILLION OVER BUDGET AND HASN'T STARTED YET
The big-budget expansion of Kelowna's library parkade will house more than vehicles. The latest design plans for the $6.4 million expansion call for architecture that melds with public art and ground level shops along the building frontage on Ellis Street.
The project now $2.4 million over-budget was approved this afternoon by city councillors. Regional Programs Manager Jerry Dombowsky says the cost will take seven years of revenues to pay off. Also approved is a new five-storey 440-stall parkade beside Memorial Arena, but Dombowsky says that project comes second to the priority expansion of the existing library parkade.
Along with 195 new parking stalls, the library parkade is getting some vibrant re-designs including 5,200 square feet of retail space. It will also feature a $100,000 public art feature built into the parkade structure. Dombowsky says they're currently selecting an artist to work with, but expect to see light and color possibly encased in window boxes along the side of the building.
The project will be moving along quickly, with construction expected to start this September and completed by early fall, 2014.
Councillor Luke Stack expressed his enthusiasm for the parkade designs given its centrality to the art district.
“To make it people-friendly will really mask this parkade, which is such an important part of the entrance to the Ellis Street corridor,” he said. “When you put art on top of it, they won't see the parkade, they'll see a beautiful building with art.”
Councillor Mohini Singh seconded Counc. Stack's comments, saying new parking is a priority for downtown Kelowna and should be done right.
By Fall 2014 the grassy space between the library parkade and Ellis Street will be a new art and shopping destination.
(JULIE WHITTET /InfoTel Multimedia)
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013