Exterior renos planned for City Hall

Kelowna City Hall, shown in this file photo, could get a new look in a $5.5 million exterior renovation project contained in the municipality's 10-year capital plan, to be reviewed Monday by councillors.

Ambitious plans for new or rebuilt city-owned facilities are contained in a long-range municipal capital program to be considered Monday by Kelowna city councillors.

A $67 million community theatre, a $50 million museum, a $32 million airport hotel and parkade, and a sixth firehall at a cost of $6 million are all referenced in the capital plan.

Even the look of Kelowna City Hall could change, with a $5.5 million "envelope renewal" project slated for 2024-2025.

"The population of Kelowna is expected to increase by 20,000 to 152,000 by 2028 and the 10-year capital plan forecasts $1.24 billion in infrastructure investment required to accommodate growth, enhance services, and renew existing infrastructure assets," reads part of a report to council from Joel Shaw, infrastructure engineering manager.

The estimated cost of the current 10-year capital plan has jumped $184 million from the one considered by council just last year.

"Construction costs have increased significantly in the past year as Kelowna is in a period of growth with labour and materials in high demand," Shaw says.

"In addition, new projects have been added to the plan and the scope of existing projects has expanded to enhance services and support growth," he says.

Projects at the Kelowna airport account for 28 per cent of the total cost of the new 10-year capital plan. An airport hotel and parkade, at $32 million, is indicated for the years 2024-25.

The replacement of the aging Kelowna Community Theatre, built in the early 1960s, is foreseen between the years 2025-27 at a cost of $67 million. This project, however, is listed as a priority two undertaking, meaning there are currently no funds associated with it.

Creation of a waterfront park in the South Pandosy neighbourhood on land the city already owns is budgeted at $3 million in 2026-27, and the development of Bluebird Beach park further south along the lakeshore isn't anticipated until 2029-30, at an expense of $1.2 million.

Replacement of the main city museum on Queensway, a building that dates back to the 1960s, is possible in 2029-30 at a projected cost of $50 million.

Kelowna City Hall, which has been undergoing substantial interior renovations the last few years, is in line for an exterior makeover in 2024-25.

Two projects on a nearer timetable are the replacement of the KLO Road bridge over Mission Creek next year at a cost of $5 million and a new pedestrian overpass linking the Central Green housing project with downtown Kelowna  in 2020-21, at $5.5 million.

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