A concept rendering of the proposed new West Kelowna city hall. (Contributed)

VIDEO: West Kelowna city hall/library construction begins

The first part is to build the public skatepark

Construction on West Kelowna’s new city hall/library building has begun, following a groundbreaking ceremony on June 15.

City staff said that building the public skatepark adjacent to where the future city hall and library will be is the first step to starting the project.

West Kelowna city council, together with the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL )and Westbank First Nation (WFN) broke the ground at the new skatepark.

“We’re making history together with the Okanagan Regional Library and Westbank First Nation in providing recreation, community services, culture and learning for everyone to enjoy,” West Kelowna mayor Gord Milsom said.

He added that the enhanced skatepark couldn’t have been achieved without the design input of the skateboard community and the public.

“We’re also deeply honoured to partner with Westbank First Nation to incorporate Indigenous art, language and culture that can be celebrated for generations to come.”

ORL board chair Sherry Philpott-Adhikary said they are excited to partner with the city for the new building project.

“Our Westbank Library Branch has been in our current space for over 25 years and we definitely need more space to serve our community,” she said.

WFN chief Christopher Derickson was also in attendance at the groundbreaking.

“For centuries, my people, the Syilx people and Indigenous people across this country have gone unrecognized by the greater Canadian public,” said Derickson.

“However, in this community, residents of the City of West Kelowna and those who come through this building will be able to tell whose land they’re on, where they’re located, and learn something about the Indigenous people, the Syilx people, and the Westbank First Nation community as they enter their civic hall.”

City staff said the enhanced skatepark area will provide different types of recreation for children of all ages. The current skatepark will remain in operation until the new skatepark is completed.

The new skatepark is slated to open this fall.

The city is inviting residents to get involved in the preliminary design consultation for the city hall/library building. To provide feedback, visit the city’s website.

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