Worst should be over for neighbours of big hole UBCO dug in downtown Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Worst should be over for neighbours of big hole UBCO dug in downtown Kelowna

Excavation for the new UBCO downtown Kelowna tower is finished.

Excavation is complete on the four-storey deep hole that UBC Okanagan has dug for the underground parkade of the 43-storey downtown Kelowna vertical campus it's started to build.

That has resulted in three neighbouring buildings – Royal Canadian Legion, McWilliams Centre and an office building across Doyle Avenue – being vacated and damage being done to the new six-storey Hadgraft Wilson Place apartment building across the alley from the excavation site.

READ MORE: Workers in downtown Kelowna building forced out as UBCO digs deeper

“The site will not be dug any further,” Nathan Skolski, associate director of public affairs for UBCO, said in an email to iNFOnews.ca.

“Our data is indicating that minimal ground settling or movement has been detected since December. We have been advised by the project engineers that the potential for further settlement issues is unlikely.”

Work to pour a concrete liner and build the foundation will take about a year to bring the site back to ground level, Skolski said.

The legion remains closed indefinitely. The veterans groups posted on its Facebook page meat draws will be held in the Kelowna Curling Club Wednesdays and Saturdays. Its annual general meeting and St. Patrick’s Day dance will be held at the Canadian Italian Centre.

UBC Properties Trust bought the McWilliams Centre in December 2022. Staff from the centre have now been permanently relocated. The building will be torn down in the coming weeks and the property used as a construction staging site.

“Engineering memos continue to note that the Pathways (Hadgraft Wilson Place) building has no structural concerns and remains safe to occupy,” Skolski wrote.

Residents have shown photos to iNFOnews.ca of cracked walls inside their units and doors that don’t close properly.

Skolski’s email didn't say when work on the foundation will begin but an email to iNFOnews.ca from the City of Kelowna said no major work will be ramping up at the site for two to three weeks.

There will be vertical auguring, the email read, but that equipment is not yet in place. Concrete pouring will start some time after that.

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