The Central Okanagan School District is moving ahead with plans to construct a new, state-of-the-art administration building to be located next to the Hollywood Road Education Centre building after entering into a unique design-build arrangement with a local builder.
On Thursday the school district announced it had a deal in place to sell its current administration building to K West Equities Corp., a Kelowna developer. As part of the sale, K West will construct the district its new administration building with the sale only being completed when the district is able to move into its new building.
“This is quite unique but it’s getting what we desired,” said School District secretary-treasurer Larry Paul. “We wanted to sell this property and use the money to build. Now the contractor is building it for us and we tie this (sale) up when the time comes for us to move into the new building.”
The district has long ago outgrown its current school board office. Eight staff members operate out of a portable office outside of the 9,500 square foot building across from Orchard Park Mall on Underhill Street.
The new building is planned to be double the size, at some 125,000 square feet, and will combine all district administration in the same office, next to the Hollywood Centre, where some operations have already moved.
The new structure will support B.C.’s Wood First Initiative and will be energy efficient to a LEED Gold standard.
Housing the school board office/administration building and education centre on one site was a concept that was first contemplated 19 years ago but until now, conditions have not been favourable for the board to proceed with the plan, said Paul, who added there won’t be much actual cost to the district as the sale price of the old building, along with a few other land sales, will be used to build the new building.
The new structure will house the school board office and the administrative offices for the school district, and will improve the efficiency of administrative operations and provide space for future growth.
Construction will begin this summer and it is expected that the new facility will be ready for occupancy by August 2017. A sod turning celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday June 10 at Hollywood Roda Education Centre.