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‘Centrepiece for residents to enjoy’: Sneak peek of new West Kelowna City Hall

The four-storey building is located on the traditional territory of the Okanagan/Syilx People

It is the largest mass timber building in the Okanagan and the first purpose-built administration facility since the City of West Kelowna was incorporated in 2007.

West Kelowna staff showed off the still-under-construction city hall during a sneak peek tour on May 13. It’s located at 3731 Old Okanagan Highway, next to the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre (JBMAC).

“Connected with JBMAC and Memorial Park, it will be a centrepiece for the residents to enjoy for years and years to come,” explained Trevor Seibel, deputy CAO.

The four-storey building is located on the traditional territory of the Okanagan/Syilx People, and Indigenous elements will be part of the facility including a learning kiosk, plantings, street banners and others. The third floor is the smallest and is designed for future expansion within the building footprint.

It is also the new home of the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL), an equity partner with the city, which will be located on the lower floor.

Many “back of house” city departments are being moved in first, departments that deal directly with the public will move in last for a seamless transition from the old city hall at Mt. Boucherie Community Centre (MBCC).

“We have such a tremendous group here at the city,” Seibel said. “Everybody has come together to help pull off a move of this magnitude trying to get operation from one location to another.”

The Recreation and Culture and Facilities departments will stay at the MBCC. The new building will be home to 101 employees and all city emails and phone numbers will remain the same.

Current MP Dan Albas and MLA Ben Stewart will also have offices in the building, along with ICBC and Services BC kiosks.

The city will announce the first day of service once move-in and system testing work is done. The ORL is scheduled to open on June 5.

“Right now we’re taking it day-by-day to make sure we get all the pieces finalized and ready to bring the public into this beautiful facility,” Seibel added.

The total cost for the new city hall is $22.79 million.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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