Sep 8, 2012 / 10:06 am
It's a sad ending to a story which started with so much promise.
When plans were first announced for the creation of the Kelowna Fire Museum and Educational Centre, there was no shortage of supporters.
But after $27,000 in grants and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of fundraising money and countless volunteer hours the museum was not able to open.
Despite all the effort, the number of obstacles in the way proved to be too much to overcome.
On Saturday, a fire sale of sorts was held to liquidate the final items left in the former museum site at 1630 Water Street, next to the Water Street fire hall.
"It's a very sad day," says volunteer John Lawrence. "I've been here for almost three years now trying to get it going, with a lot of other volunteers, but we just ran out of time and ran out of money."
Lawrence says they community support was incredible, but in the end, the cost of bringing the building up to standards finally killed the project.
"When we came in and started working on it, we found the electrical in the place was way below code. It had to be torn out from one end of the building to the other and the plumbing needed replacing end to end. This was all costly stuff."
Lawrence added they weren't under pressure from the landlord.
"The owner of the building was great to us, extending the time for us to pay rent and what not, but in the end we just couldn't do it."
Some of the items they had was donated to other non-profit societies in Kelowna and the museum pieces are now in storage at both the Water Street and Enterprise Way Fire Halls.
Among the items for sale on Saturday are building supplies, tools, kitchen supplies and equipment, tables, chairs and display materials. Organizers say no offer will be refused.
The dream is not completely finished however, as Lawrence admits he's holding out hope for the future.
"I think we have to get in to a building that is move in ready and is in a good location. We`ll also have to get our volunteers back. As time went on the volunteers sort of dropped off. Three or four of us have hung in there still with a hope. If they start it again, I`m going to be there."
The garage sale is on until 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 8.
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