A push is on to help the SASCU Downtown Activity Centre live to see its 100th birthday and beyond.
A petition sponsored by the Salmon Arm branch of the Okanagan Historical Society is being circulated to gain support for saving the building, which will be 100 years old in 2022.
Dorothy Rolin with the historical society points out that the DAC is on the city’s heritage registry. Currently Salmon Arm has only three public heritage buildings, she notes.
The school board has already passed a ‘disposal’ bylaw for the property, but no process has been initiated yet to dispose of it.
She notes many people have many memories connected to the building, which was formerly Salmon Arm Elementary.
“To say they’re going to sell or demolish it is quite threatening to anyone who has had a part in that school,” Rolin remarks.
She points out the building is structurally strong and, along with its many current uses, several other ideas have been suggested.
“Somebody was saying a cultural centre for all the guilds – it’s got wonderful lighting with all the high windows. There are lots of ideas floating around.”
The petition also states keeping the building, paid for by local taxpayers, would be a green option compared to the cost of rebuilding. Rolin said the historical society wants the petition to be a catalyst to get other people to form a committee and launch the process to save the building. So far it has generated about 200 signatures and the society would like to get 1,000.
Petitions can be found at Hucul Printing, Salmon Arm Stationery, Choices restaurant, the DAC, Mr. Eugene’s hair salon, Intwined Fibre Arts and the Shuswap Dance Centre.