A planned assessment will help determine how an iconic downtown Salmon Arm heritage building might be used in the future.
Built in 1928 to serve as the city’s municipal hall, from 1977 until recently the city-owned building at 31 Hudson Ave. NE served as the Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre, managed by the Shuswap Lake Senior Citizens Society. Programs run by the society at the drop-in centre have since moved to the 5th Avenue Seniors Centre. Mayor Alan Harrison said the city assisted with the transition.
“It was no longer economically viable to have four seniors centres operating within the city,” Harrison explained in an email to the Observer.
The city has agreed to allow the building to be used for the 2021 Salmon Arm Pride Project Arts and Awareness Festival (Oct. 16 to Dec. 11). The only other future plan for the structure mentioned by Harrison was an assessment.
“As you may be aware, the building is on the Provincial Heritage Registry,” said Harrison. “We are in the process of getting an assessment to determine the condition of the building, and what the costs are, to see if it can be used safely over time.”
“Once council has this information, we can better make decisions regarding the future use of the building.”
For a number of years now the city has been working to address concerns with the building. Vines were removed from the outside of the building in 2017 as they were getting into the mortar. In 2019, the city budgeted $25,000 to replace the roof. The same year an additional $10,000 was budgeted for some minor structural/cosmetic repairs.
A structural review conducted in 2016 found the foundation up front to be in good condition. What was a concern was the added-on back portion of the building where the foundation had shifted.
“Long-term, from an operations perspective, we’re going to continue to just budget appropriately as we need to, as major repairs come up,” city engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen commented in an August 2019 interview. “Because obviously to reinstate the building would cost a lot of money and it’s just not feasible at this time.”
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