KAMLOOPS - Plans for the Stuart Woods school house are moving forward.
Moving the city’s museum to the heritage building is the number one option right now from city council's perspective.
Chief administrative officer David Trawin says the site is an ideal fit due to it’s set up and location.
“The museum staff are very excited,” he says. “It’s a heritage building; very few changes would need to happen.”
Stuart Wood has been sitting empty for almost a year after the school district vacated the site.
The future of the site was uncertain since the City owns the property so long as it’s used for educational purposes due to a 100-year-old document. Trawin says the City has been working with three provincial ministries to work out the legal issues around the old document.
Recently it was determined a museum could be an educational component.
Now the City is turning to the local First Nations for their consent since it’s technically Crown land and council agreed it would improve relations between the two governments.
“The mayor has met with them, so that's with the First Nations right now,” Trawin says.
If Tkemlups te Secwepemc gives the go ahead the City will consult with 12 other local bands before returning to the province for a formal application. If they don’t the City will have to weigh the options again and may have to give up the land to the province.
If the museum moves forward Trawin sees it having positive ramifications for the neighbourhood and user groups. The large fence could be knocked down, the adjacent park and cenotaph would become part of the site, the Farmers' Market wouldn’t be affected and he hopes the city could run group trips with organizations like the Rocky Mountaineer to the improved site.
“We could try to bring more events into the area,” he says. “We could run some tours.”
While it does mean progress for the heritage site, Trawin isn’t sure how soon things may move forward, and says while sooner is better, it’s not being rushed.
"We’d like to move forward with it," he says. "We haven’t put a time limit on that."
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