Observer file photo Demolition of the former Orchard House is expected to begin this week. This photo was taken in March of this year.

Orchard House demolition to begin this week

City of Salmon Arm receives no bids for relocating the building.

A contract has been awarded for demolition of the former Orchard House.

In April, the city issued two requests for proposals – one to relocate the building situated at 720 – 22nd St. NE across from the SASCU Recreation Centre, and the other, to demolish the building.

In November 2016, the city announced its purchase of the one-acre or 4,400-square-metre property with the plan to demolish the building and use the site for future expansion of the rec centre, specifically for a new pool.

Since then, some citizens rallied to save the structure while others were opposed to spending taxpayer dollars on it.

Council decided to offer a financial contribution if any group wished to move the building.

At Monday’s council meeting, Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering, reported that no proposals were received for moving the building. However, two were received for demolition.

City council approved awarding the demolition contract to Blackburn Excavating Ltd. for an estimated price of $72,185 plus taxes. The demolition will include removal and safe disposal of the building and of any contaminated material, removal of existing trees adjacent to the building, and grading the site.

Coun. Kevin Flynn referred to the tree removal.

“We’re in Salmon Arm and anytime we take any trees out,” he said stopping in mid-sentence.

Niewenhuizen explained that “one very large tree very close to the building” will be damaged during the demolition so will have to be removed. Another tree in the parking lot will go as well, but he said the hedgeline of trees will be preserved.

Coun. Ken Jamieson asked about salvaging materials inside.

Niewenhuizen said the previous owner has salvaged some things, as has R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum.

The staff report regarding the demolition notes that Blackburn Excavating has extensive experience with demolition.

“Previous demolition projects undertaken for the City of Salmon Arm by Blackburn Excavating Ltd. include the old city hall (2006) and 921 17th St. SW (2013).”

The demolition is expected to begin this week and take about seven days.