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Okanagan Mission Activity Centre has a new name and new lease on life

‘It’s an icon building and we wanted to make sure that it stayed’
Sarsons Activity Centre located at 4398 Hobson Road in Kelowna. (Photo: City of Kelowna website)

Council overwhelmingly supported maintaining its partnership with the Okanagan Mission Seniors Centre Society to keep operating the Okanagan Mission Activity Centre at its Monday meeting (Apr 15).

“It’s an icon building and we wanted to make sure that it stayed,” said Councillor Charlie Hodge.

The Seniors Society, and those who use the centre, were concerned it may be shut down once the new Mission Activity Centre is built as part of expanded recreational facilities in Kelowna.

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However, council made it clear that the 75-year-old building at Sarsons Beach Park would continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

“Keeping it and supporting it, to me, is a phrase I don’t much like to use ‘it’s a no-brainer’,” said Coun. Rick Webber.

Council also praised staff for its work in working with the Seniors Society.

“You’ve heard our comments and you know several of us in the past few years have been adamant about this site and wanting to preserve it,” said Coun. Maxine DeHart.

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The Seniors Society has a no-rental agreement with the city in exchange for running several programs out of the centre. The city offers other programming and rentals on evenings and weekends.

Staff told council that the building needs several repairs. The roof is failing, insulation is poor and the water heater, furnace and air conditioner are at or beyond their service life.

The city will spend approximately $180,000 for immediate maintenance items, including the roof, and about $740,000 over the next 10 years to keep the building in good condition.

The centre generates revenue of about $40,000 and nets approximately $10,000 after deducting programming costs. Operating and maintenance costs come in at around $35,000 a year.

Coun. Mohini Singh encouraged the Seniors Society with their fundraising efforts to help cover costs.

“So this doesn’t go into taxpayer coffers to have to maintain,” she added. “Thank you for your ongoing advocacy and thank you, staff.

The centre has also been renamed Sarsons Activity Centre.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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