The new home of the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, and Vernon Public Art Gallery, would be a facility built on the former Coldstream Hotel on 32nd Avenue. (Morning Star file photo)

City of Vernon supports former hotel site for cultural facility

Greater Vernon Museum, Vernon Public Art Gallery, would be housed at former Coldstream Hotel site

A proposed multi-purpose cultural facility will likely be located in downtown Vernon.

The City of Vernon has directed the administration to notify the Regional District of North Okanagan that the preferred site for the planned facility is the Vernon Block, 2910-32nd Avenue, the site of the former Coldstream Hotel.

“We thought it was an ideal site,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“We’re trying to revitalize downtown, make it more inviting, more amenable to the general public that is making use of the cultural facilities. We just think it’s going to be a bit of an impetus.j Our goal is to get more people living downtown so having a cultural centre will potentially inspire a developer to maybe develop housing on that, some apartment building on that same property as we’re not using it all.”

Council directed to staff to negotiate the sale of up to one-third of the Vernon Block property, approximately 2,500 square metres, at fair market value for the building of the new facility, which would be located at the south end of the lot near 31st Avenue.

The site had been one of four municipal-owned properties within Vernon put forward by a consulting firm retained by RDNO to work on the project.

RELATED: Four sites eyed for new Vernon cultural facility

The other sites identified were the Flower Block, located between 31st Avenue and 30th Street; Polson Park; and the Vernon Civic Arena, which is slated for demolition at some point.

“I really wanted it at the Civic Arena, I thought that was a better location,” said Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal.

The cultural facility would be three storeys, with the art gallery on the ground floor, the museum on the second floor and offices and common space on the third floor. Also on the ground floor would be what the city calls a ‘black box space,’ designate for use for the greater community for events.

“We heard from the arts community that they’re often looking for a venue that’s small enough for their events,” said Cunningham. “The performing arts centre is too big and too expensive so providing a venue that can be used by bigger groups is part of the goal. It can also be used for education, bringing in speakers and presenters for that space.”

The plan for a new multi-purpose cultural facility for Greater Vernon, which would be the new homes of the museum and archives, and public art gallery, has a preliminary size and cost estimate.

The regional district approved a preliminary funding strategy that proposes to use project timing to moderate the tax impact on Greater Vernon residents.

RELATED: Size, cost set for proposed Vernon cultural facility

The total project budget, which has been given a cost of $40 million, is made up of pre-construction and project management costs of $3.34 million, construction costs of $29.38 million, a construction contingency of $5.78 million, and a land purchase contingency of $1.5 million.

With a site now chosen, the consulting firm can streamline its plan onto the Vernon Block site.

“I anticipate in two or three weeks we should have another presentation by the consultant to the implementation action team, which is made up of the greater arts community,” said Cunningham.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

City of Vernon finance department wins major award

Vernon department honoured by Government Finance Officers Association for its budget

Lake Country recognized for climate change initiatives

The district has been working to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions

Tempering the Okanagan cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

B.C. cancer patient’s case exposes gaps in care for homeless people: advocates

Terry Willis says he’s praying for a clean, safe place to live to undergo the cancer treatments he needs after he was denied chemotherapy because he lives in a Victoria homeless shelter.

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Campers causing a mess along Okanagan River Channel

Homeless people frequently camp along the pathway next to the channel in Penticton

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Most Read