Local builder gives a hoot

A 27-year-old chip wood building that has stood on the grounds of the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls since its inception is no longer.

The building will be replaced with a brand-new donated structure that was constructed by a Kelowna company.

The owners of Chaparral Industries have supported SORCO for some time, donating materials when needed, and jumped at the chance to construct a building for the non-profit group.

Chaparral project manager Terry Mitchell says SORCO is important to the Okanagan, and the company wanted to give back.

“Seeing how they’ve progressed from their old chip building, it is just excellent. They are a world presence; they are not just for the Okanagan Valley, they are doing something for the environment that you wouldn’t be able to replicate anywhere else.”

The building will be used as SORCO's food centre, says spokesman Ray Putnam.

“We needed a new building to house the food centre, which is where we grow and breed rats for the raptors. They have to have a good protein source, so we have this new building that we can raise rats in,” he explains.

The modular builder will finish constructing the food centre in coming days and ship it down to Oliver. Mitchell says the building is small compared to what the company usually puts together.

“It’s 14 feet by 18 feet. It does have an air conditioner, it does have some baseboard heat, so it is controlled and it has circulation fan in it to control any mustiness in it that may be produced in that kind of environment."

SORCO cares for injured raptors and owls, and Putnam says the food centre will play an important role in their rehabilitation.

“Once the birds are healed, we will take them back to the area they were located. It is the responsibility of our organization to take them back within 10 kilometres of where they were found.”

An open house will be held at SORCO on May 3, and it will be the the only time in the year the public can tour the centre, view the birds and check out the new food centre.


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