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January 29, 2021, 8:43 am

West Kelowna Awards City Hall Design Contract; Establishes Equity Partnership with Regional Library

City of West Kelowna
WEST KELOWNA - West Kelowna Council has approved Johnston Davidson Architecture as the design team who will work with the City and the Okanagan Regional Library to design West Kelowna’s first City Hall/Library Building.

This earmarks the beginning of the City Hall Project’s Preliminary Design phase, which includes stakeholder and public consultations beginning this spring.

Located in Westbank Centre at 3731 Old Okanagan Highway and adjacent to the City’s Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre (JBMAC), West Kelowna is establishing its first purpose-built City Hall building and welcoming the Okanagan Regional Library as a one-third equity partner. This partnership is inspired by City Council’s vision to offer efficient, centralized and civic-centre services in its downtown core, combined with the Okanagan Regional Library Board’s vision to offer all the types of expanded services that libraries are moving toward to better serve the community.

“Now that construction of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant is well underway, along with our expanded road and sidewalk programs in the city, Council can proceed with other priority projects, including our first City Hall/Library building with the Okanagan Regional Library Board,” says Mayor Gord Milsom. “This is an exciting equity partnership that benefits our community. And, we’re looking forward to further developing our community partnerships to make the Westbank Centre a vibrant civic-centre area that serves the Greater Westside.”

"The Okanagan Regional Library Board is very excited about this opportunity and unanimously approved the project,” says Karla Kozakevich, Chair of the Okanagan Regional Library Board. “The new location is a fantastic opportunity for Okanagan Regional Library to expand the library service and show the people across the Greater Westside that the Library continues to be at the heart of the community.”

"With the tremendous growth of the West Kelowna population and the nature of how libraries are changing their services to include things like more programming, technology, and community meeting spaces, a modern expanded library in West Kelowna is overdue,” says Don Nettleton, Chief Executive Officer of the Okanagan Regional Library. “Modern libraries are a vibrant community hub. We are excited that the other adjacent community services available in this new location and project will provide a synergy that could not be achieved alone, which will benefit the citizens of West Kelowna and the surrounding area.”

City staff continue to explore other collaborations in the building who would also directly serve the public. Discussions with other levels of government responsible to serve West Kelowna are underway to determine the feasibility of, for example, constituency offices being occupied in the building.

“As the Kelowna-West member of the BC Legislative Assembly, I’m fully supportive of City of West Kelowna delivering a long overdue civic centre and the benefits it will bring to our Greater Westside community,” says Ben Stewart, MLA for Kelowna-West. “It’s our goal to relocate our existing constituency office and lease space in West Kelowna’s first City Hall once built. Relocating will provide more comprehensive and centralized service to those we serve, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the City of West Kelowna.”

“These are exciting years ahead for the City of West Kelowna as they design and build their first City Hall,” says Dan Albas, MP for the Central Okanagan – Similkameen – Nicola. “We’re looking forward to the continued planning that would provide the West Kelowna community with greater multi-level government access all in one place.”

The Strategic Priorities of West Kelowna’s Council also include the importance to strengthen relationships with Westbank First Nation. Incorporating Indigenous art and culture remains important across the Greater Westside. Now that the project is moving into the preliminary design phase, the City will be working with Westbank First Nation and the Okanagan Regional Library to include ways to celebrate learning, heritage, culture and designing gathering places where everyone is welcome and can be inspired.

“With the Westside experiencing continued growth, it remains important that we grow together, and in the right way,” says Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson. “As a community partner in this project, Westbank First Nation’s involvement reflects a strong relationship with the City of West Kelowna, and acknowledgement of the importance of reconciliation.”

The West Kelowna Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library has been in its current leased location for more than 25 years; and, the City’s administration has been operating in many temporary facilities for more than 13 years. The synergies involved in the City and the Okanagan Regional Library working together on a multi-use facility will be an affordable asset that serves the Greater Westside community. Offering these services from the same venue, and adjacent to recreation facilities of the JBMAC, the Annette Beaudreau Memorial Amphitheatre and Memorial Park, will help create a vibrant and attractive area that offers civic-centre services and recreation.  

To view the City’s project background materials, please visit westkelownacity.ca/cityhallproject.  
To learn more about the Okanagan Regional Library, please visit orl.bc.ca


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