Kelowna Legion closed due to impacts of neighbouring development

Legion forced to close doors

The Royal Canadian Legion in Kelowna will not be home for the holidays.

Legion Branch 26 on Bertram Street is closed for an undetermined amount of time due to ongoing impacts of the UBC Okanagan development next door.

The 43-storey tower planned for 550 Doyle Avenue includes a four-storey underground parkade, a first for Kelowna that requires a large excavation.

That big dig has created significant problems for neighbouring buildings. The Kelowna legion is now the second building in the area to be declared uninhabitable.

“There's been some movement of the building and there's been some damage on the inside but UBC Property Trust have been very, very responsible with helping us with shoring and all that kind of stuff to try and mitigate the issue,” said legion building committee chairperson Lorne Thompson.

“The engineers didn't want anybody in there over the Christmas holidays, mainly because everybody has shut down.”

Members are now in a wait-and-see situation as the engineers work. An engineering firm was on site Friday.

Thompson says UBC has also been investigating alternate locations for the legion if the issue persists.

“Like I said, they've been extremely responsible in helping us out,” he said, noting that UBC has also helped them locate some of the legion’s special holiday events to allow them to go forward.

“They've been financially responsible for those as well,” he said.

In a previous statement to Castanet, UBC Okanagan spokesperson Nathan Skolski said they have been in close contact with impacted neighbours.

"With the scale and depth of the project, ground settling was always anticipated and we are in regular communication with neighbouring properties to assess and monitor the impact of construction on their structures,” he said.

Monitoring devices have also been installed on a nearby residential building.

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