Johnston Davidson Architecture has been selected as the design team who will work with West Kelowna and the Okanagan Regional Library to design the first city hall/library building. Preliminary design including stakeholder and public consultations will begin 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 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,” ” says Mayor Gord Milsom.
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.
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 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.”
City staff is also exploring 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.