West Kelowna residents can help design new $18M city hall and library | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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West Kelowna residents can help design new $18M city hall and library

This is the sketch of the proposed West Kelowna city hall and library building that is being used in a consultation process.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of West Kelowna

Construction of West Kelowna’s new skatepark will begin later this month now that the way has been cleared by the Agricultural Land Commission.

The new skateboard park has been designed and construction should be complete in August.

That work is needed in order to make way for the city’s first “purpose-built” city hall and library next to the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre.

What that new building will look like has only been roughly sketched in city drawings but the first of two consultation processes will run from June 14 to 27. Those will not talk about the shape or style of the building but will focus on how well the building and open spaces function.

An online questionnaire asks about things like customer experiences when visiting the city hall and library building, landscaping and lighting preferences outside the building and “opportunities to celebrate public and indigenous art and culture.”

There will be print, online and in-person options for input, states a report going to city council on Tuesday, June 8.

“Elements of the project that are fixed and not open to consultation will also be described in our material, such as the project justification, site and building location, size of the building, no new tax increases to the City’s budget, equity and tenant partnerships and use of land in the Agriculture Land Reserve,” the report states.

In other words, the $18 million cost and 30,000 square foot size are not up for discussion even though there has been a history of opposition to a West Kelowna city hall.

READ MORE: West Kelowna looks to build a combo City Hall and library

The skateboard park needed to be relocated in order to accommodate the new building but half a hectare of the land is in the agricultural land reserve.

The land commission ruled on June 1 that the site is not suitable for agriculture so it can be used for the skateboard park and parking. Decades ago it was used as a settling pond for a sewage treatment plant, the report states.

The old park will remain open until after the new park is finished.

Later in the summer, it’s expected larger open houses can be held once COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings are eased and the project moves into the detailed design phase.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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