Library space needed in Summerland

The Wharton Street development project has come to a halt, but the need for a new library facility continues.

The Wharton Street development project has come to a halt, but the need for a new library facility continues.

Last week, the municipality announced that the contract for a large multi-phase development on Wharton Street was cancelled. The purchase and sale agreement with the developers expired and because of health issues with the owner, there were no plans to renew the agreement.

The first phase of the development was to include a new facility for the museum and the library. Both are operating out of cramped quarters. The museum was opened in 1983. It has an area of 372 square metres. The space is limited and as a result not all artifacts can be displayed. The library was built in 1981. It has an area of 316 square metres, or 48 per cent of the size needed to  serve Summerland’s population, according to the Okanagan Regional Library’s calculations.

Since 2003, the Okanagan Regional Library board has been working to find a new location for the library.

Over the past decade, two proposals for a development on Wharton Street would have provided space for the museum and library.

Sue Kline, librarian at the Summerland library branch, said the building is well used.

In July, there were 8,500 visits to the library and in August, there were 7,500 visits. These figures do not include activities for children.

Improvements to the building have been put on hold because of the plans to create a new library space.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the cancellation is a disappointment, but added that the municipality will continue to find new cultural facilities.

“I am reminded of the Waterfront Resort and how many developers came and went before it was finally built. Council will not stopping looking for the right project and our goal to build a new facility for the library, museum and cultural centre has not changed,” she said.

“On the upside, the construction had not started so the area still looks the same.”

Alene Fenrich, president of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said the cancellation is disappointing.

“A well designed commercial and residential complex at the Wharton location will be the largest downtown development project in years, playing a significant role in revitalization efforts downtown and contributing to economic development,” she said. “A creative and workable plan to move forward with this development is needed as soon as possible.”

 

Just Posted

Rikhi family donates $60,000 to Penticton Regional Hospital expansion

Donation made in memory of Raksha Rikhi, a nurse from Summerland

Bobsleigh on display in Summerland

Used sleigh set up in honour of Olympic gold medal athlete Justin Kripps

Penticton RCMP want you to Cram the Kennel

RCMP officers, volunteers will be filling kennels with food and pet supplies donations

Summerland utility rates to increase

Water and sewer rates to rise five per cent; electrical increase is two per cent

Summerland Steam acquires Princeton Posse captain

Junior B team acquires Lane French in exchange for Tristan Hewitt

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Women charged with stealing money from Okanagan hospice return to court

Susan Steen and Melanie Gray are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Most Read