At the DAC: Kids make their way to the Shuswap Kids Club in the Downtown Activity Centre on Monday

DAC’s long-term future in doubt

School district: Facility plans call for eventual sale of building.

The SASCU Downtown Activity Centre, next to the new school board office, is destined for ‘disposal,’ but not everyone is pleased with the plan.

The status of the DAC, as it’s commonly called, was laid out in the Long Term Facility Plan commissioned by School District #83. The plan states it is a one-acre property and has been subdivided for future disposal, meaning sale.

Gary Greenhough, the school district’s acting secretary-treasurer, said the DAC is now being leased on a month-to-month basis, but negotiations for a five-year lease are underway. That lease would be back-dated and would expire on April 30, 2018.

He said the board has already passed a disposal bylaw for the DAC property, but no process has been initiated yet to dispose of it.

There are no structural issues with the building, he said, but it was built in 1921 to serve its former purpose as Salmon Arm Elementary and has undergone subsequent additions.

“It is past its building life cycle,” he said, noting it would be expensive to renovate or update systems. “We’re not looking to be upgrading or investing in the building. For instance, there’s no air conditioning in the building.”

If sold, the sale “would assist the district in funding future capital projects,” Greenhough said.

Superintendent Glenn Borthistle said the board is certainly aware of the building’s use.

“I think we’ve been pretty open with them that this is a possibility, that the building will be sold,” he said, noting groups have been told they will need to find other locations in the future.

As for when, he said the board would provide sufficient notice to both the city and the board’s tenants.

“The board would provide a letter to the city that is going to inform them about the lease period and that the board may be disposing of the property when the lease expires.”

He said that would probably take place a year in advance of the lease’s expiry.

Kim Sinclair, executive director of Aspiral Youth Partners Association, still holds out hope the building could be retained for its current uses – at least for a longer period.

“Our hope is to extend it,” he says of the lease. “They’re talking two-and-a-half to three years. We feel this is a pretty valuable asset in the community. We’d love to have more conversation to see what we can do to keep it alive in the community.”

He said his association’s understanding of developing the DAC as a centre “was to create sustainability in youth programming in the community.

We think that will suffer. It’s been very well-used by parts of our community on an ongoing basis.”

He said the air cadets just joined the centre two weeks ago, and the Kids’ Club daycare has expanded.

“The radio station is still going strong. We have a program for teens with disabilities in the basement, part of the children’s association. It’s called The Loft. There’s tons of stuff going on.”

Sinclair said his main hope is that more discussion will take place before a final decision is made.

Sinclair says current users and uses of the centre include: badminton, Salmon Arm pipe band, cello lessons, duplicate bridge, meditation, Questers, Toastmasters, gospel coffeehouse, Metis coffeehouse, Shuswap Daycare, Narcotics Anonymous, Salmon Arm actors, Responsible Drivers program, Round dancing, midget hockey, lacrosse, Shuswap miners, Shuswap women’s rec soccer, Canadian Mental Health Association, Employer’s advisory, air cadets, Grace church, Voice of the Shuswap radio, Kids Club after school program and The Loft program.

 

Just Posted

Shuswap’s Rust Valley Restorers team rolling onto Netflix

Mike and Connor Hall, Avery Shoaf see television show picked up by streaming service

Canada geese in the Shuswap: Beautiful milfoil eaters or poopy pests?

Numbers of geese increasing in the Shuswap to the joy of some people and dismay of others

Salmon Arm’s Sebastien Archambault joins Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles

Shuswap artists invited to bring the noise

Sound machine exhibit planned for Salmon Arm Art Gallery in 2020

Sister Speak comes home to Okanagan on world tour

Shosws in Kelowna, Vernon and Revelstoke

Drugs, cash and 11 people apprehended at North Okanagan house

RCMP executed warrant at 35th Street home for second time in a month

UBC Okanagan, Lake Country joint community pool not a reality

Lake Country residents want a community pool, survey shows

Hell’s Angel prospect back in custody after being charged with assault

The 30-year-old man now faces several additional charges

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

New South Okanagan winery will open its doors soon

Phantom Creek Estates announced its new CEO and winemaker, and completed first phase of construction

B.C. man tells judge he attempted suicide a month before daughters’ murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Okanagan Rail Ride gathering steam ahead of inaugural race

The ride is a non-competitive event celebrating the Okanagan Rail Trail

Most Read