The Westbank Lions Community Centre after extensive repairs following a devastating fire in 2014.

The Westbank Lions Community Centre after extensive repairs following a devastating fire in 2014.

Historic Westbank hall now a West Kelowna civic facility

Deal with the Westbank Lions Club transfers ownership of hall to the city.

The Westbank Lions Hall has a new owner.

The City of West Kelowna announced Tuesday it has wrapped up negotiations with the Westbank Lions Club to transfer ownership of the historic hall to the city.

The hall will remain a community recreational and event facility and will be known as the Westbank Lions Community Centre.

“For decades the Westbank Lions Club has done a tremendous job maintaining this facility that has hosted countless weddings, public meetings, cultural and recreational events and community celebrations,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.

“It is a vital amenity for members of our community and the city is extremely honoured that the Lions Club has trusted us with its care.”

Findlater publicly thanked the club and its numerous volunteers for what he called “this gift” and assured the club and the public it will continue to be there for West Kelowna residents to use.

The Westbank Lions Club has agreed to transfer the hall and the land it sits on to the city by way of a charitable trust. The city will take over management of the hall, originally built in 1928, and remodelled since then and partially rebuilt after fire caused extensive damage a few years ago.

“The Westbank Lions Club has always been guided by our motto for the community hall, Our Community Hall, Your Community Hall, Everybody’s Community Hall, and we are very happy that it is going to continue to operate in that same spirit,” said Jack Lucas, Westbank Lions Club president.

The contract for the transfer of the facility indicates that the land will always be used for the purpose of operating a community hall for the benefit of residents of West Kelowna and the land may not be transferred, conveyed, encumbered, mortgaged, redeveloped or otherwise disposed of.

The city said it will maintain the current leases with not-for-profit groups that use the hall, including the Canadian Red Cross health equipment loan office and the Westside Youth Centre.

Starting April 1, 2017 the city will take over administering bookings for the hall. All previously booked events will be honoured, said the city.