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UBCO requests access for assessment of evacuated Kelowna apartments

Hadgraft Wilson Place residents will be housed by Okanagan College for the summer
The UBCO downtown Kelowna campus construction has resumed. The evacuated low-income housing Hadgraft Wilson Place can be seen in the background. (Brittany Webster/Capital News)

The future of Hadgraft Wilson Place, an affordable housing apartment complex in Kelowna, is still up in the air.

The excavating work for the UBC Okanagan’s new downtown Kelowna campus prompted the neighbouring apartment building to be evacuated on April 2, after apparent ground shifting caused cracks in the structure.

In an email to Black Press Media, Nathan Skolski of UBC’s media relations, explained that UBCO has requested access to Hadgraft Wilson Place to conduct an assessment of the building.

“As this property does not belong to UBC Properties Trust, we are awaiting decisions by BC Housing and their insurance providers to provide any engineering reports or advice that highlight the extent and nature of any needed remediation. Given that these engineering assessments were commissioned by BC Housing and their insurers, we do not have access to them at this time and cannot speak to their findings, if any,” read Skoliski’s email.

Skolski added that UBCO has received confirmation from independently peer-reviewed professional engineers that the shoring wall remains stable, the original cause of concern for the safety of Hadgraft Wilson Place.

In the meantime, the more than 80 Hadgraft Wilson residents will be temporarily moved from the hotels they were placed in after the evacuation and into a new residence building at the Okanagan College campus.

The announcement came on April 26 from the City of Kelowna, the college, and Pathways Abilities Society, stating that Pathways was currently in the process of finalizing a lease with Okanagan College, which will keep the Hadgraft residents sheltered until mid-August.

Then on April 29, UBCO stated that with the completion of exams, students are moving out, and there is also space at the university’s student residences for the evacuated residents.

Black Press Media has reached out to BC Housing for comment.

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Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

I am a video journalist based in Kelowna and capturing life in the Okanagan
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