School District 83 confirmed last week it is currently finalizing an offer for the sale of the Downtown Activity Centre in Salmon Arm, and the prospective owners, Parmjit and Kulwinder Chalal, plan to keep it as a community activity centre. (File photo) School District 83 is considering selling the SASCU Downtown Activity Centre. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Prospective Downtown Activity Centre owners plan to keep it as community centre

Parmjit and Kulwinder Chahal seek new tenants, hope to house child-care centre

After many months of expectation and questions surrounding the future of the SASCU Downtown Activity Centre in Salmon Arm, the prospective owners say they aren’t planning any extreme changes to the previously well-used centre.

If all goes according to plan, the sale of the School District 83 building to prospective owners Parmjit and Kulwinder Chahal will be final as of Jan 31, 2019. They say they plan to keep the building as a community-focused activity centre, and are hoping to find new tenants to fill some of the now-vacant spaces in the building.

The husband-and-wife pair came to the Shuswap in 2002. The family owns a few other businesses in the region, including Lakeside Bowling in Salmon Arm and the Copper Island Pub and Motel in Sorrento.

“It will be the same thing; there is not a plan to change it right now or change what can go on in there,” Parmjit says. “My wife and I are excited, and we will continue leasing out areas of the building to responsible tenants.”

Related: School District 83 says a buyer is lined up for Salmon Arm’s DAC

The Chalals plan to make some small cosmetic upgrades in the short-term, but as of yet there are no plans for a major overhaul to the building or to what goes on within the walls.

“What I want to do is some inside and outside painting, and to make sure everything is working like it is supposed to and stuff like that. We will see when the time comes about some other things,” Chahal says. “I would like to do a garden of some kind in the summertime.”

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District announced in 2013 it would not be renewing the leases of tenants in the building. Over the past year the sale has been a much-debated issue, with the city declining to purchase the building and at least one purchase attempt by others falling through.

A rumor of a buyer cropping up for the building was confirmed by the school district for the new year.

Chahal says one thing they would really like to have back in the DAC is a daycare facility. The Shuswap Kids Club was located in the building for many years, but they have relocated along with many of the DAC’s former tenants.

Related: Church plan to buy Downtown Activity Centre fails

In light of some uncertainty around whether the DAC would sell in time for current tenants to remain in the building, many of those who previously used the space opted to find a new place to go.

At least one tenant, the Grace Church, will remain in the building and continue to hold its worship services in the DAC, according to Mark Cox, a pastor with the church.

The sale will be finalized by Jan. 31, 2019, and the Chahals say they are seeking responsible, long-term tenants to use the space.

For more information, email Parmjitc73@hotmail.com.


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