Weeks after fire charred Kelowna’s pavilion in City Park, it’s still unclear whether efforts will be made to preserve what’s left of the 1960s era structure or if planners will be given a mandate to start from scratch.
“It’s too soon to answer that question,” said Lance Kayfish, the city’s risk management officer, when asked if 75 per cent of the building was scorched—a level insurers consider to be the point where a fresh start is the only option.
“I have been involved in several different types of fire claims and property loss claims and I no longer estimate the amount of damage or the value of that damage.”
An architect, structural engineer, environmental engineer and quantity surveyor have all conducted preliminary investigations. Their reports will be provided to the insurer and quantity surveyor to evaluate the extent of damage and financial loss.
The process, said Kayfish, should take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks to complete.
Meantime, efforts are dedicated to mitigating the losses.
Recovery of documents and records has been completed, and a local restoration company is working to ensure the information contained within is not lost forever.
“Valuable paper coverage and vital records are being freeze dried and will be restored or copied onto clean paper,” he explained, noting some records are irreparably damaged.
Over a dozen members of the city’s design and construction staff had been working out of the building—which also houses washrooms and a seasonal concession stand—for at least a couple of years.
The staff displaced by the fire have already been relocated to City Hall and a request for proposals has been issued to deal with the loss of the concession stand.
Temporary washrooms have also been rolled onto the site.
“Regardless what happens to the site, we are looking at a significant amount of time that will require us to operate washrooms in that location,” Kayfish said.
“It is our busiest washroom location in the winter months because it is heated.”
Fire crews were called to the downtown blaze just after 4:30 a.m. March 6 and arrived to find the building heavily involved with fire.
By the time the flames were quelled, the building had sustained significant damage. No injuries were reported and the cause has been determined to be arson.