Work set to start on stabilization of Kelowna’s oldest building

The city will spend $70,000 on fixing the building foundations.

The Central Okanagan Heritage Society says it’s pleased Kelowna is finally putting some money into the restoration of the city’s oldest building.

A plan to stabilize the Brent’s Mill, which along with two other historic buildings, has been sitting in a city-owned filed at the foot of Dilworth Mountain for the last 12 years, is set to start next month.

Janice Henry, executive director of the COHS said not only was she pleased that the city will spend about $70,000 on the project but also with the calibre of the people the city has hired to do the work.

One is local heritage consultant Alastair Smith, who will work on new foundations for the historic mill. When the mill was moved to its present location, it was just placed on a concrete pad.

The city has also hired an engineers with heritage experience to work on the building.

“We are really thrilled to see this being done,” said Henry, whose organization provided about $55,000 six years ago to do restorations on the historic Flemming House, which is also on the site. That work included a new roof on the house.

All three buildings on the site are owned by the city and recently, Coun. MaxineDeHart voiced her concern about squatters on the site of the buildings.

With next week being national Heritage Week,the news that the city will do some work on the mill comes at a symbolic time.

Henry said with a theme of “Distinctive Destinations and Experience Historic Places,” it is fitting work is being down to start fixing up a building on a site she feels has huge heritage potential.

But while the local heritage society is pleased some work is being done, it also acknowledges that much more needs to be done to restore the mill, particularly replacing its roof.

City staff dealing with the project could not be immediately contacted about the project Tuesday.

The work on Brent’s Mill is expected to take two to three months to complete.

 

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