Leaking roof may force Osoyoos Museum to find new location to store archives

By on November 8, 2017

Osoyoos and District Museum and Archives. (Richard McGuire file photo)

Town of Osoyoos staff are looking at moving archival material stored inside the Osoyoos Museum to another location as another leak in the roof is causing serious issues inside the former curling rink.

“Public works were there on Friday trying to fix a roof they feel is not fixable,” said Chief Administrative Officer Barry Romanko, during a presentation to town council on Monday.

While there have been numerous leaks in the roof of the Osoyoos Museum’s quonset section over the past several years, this is the first major leak over the section of the building that holds the majority of the museum’s archives and office equipment.

Romanko told members of council that a “relocation of office and archival functions” to another building in the community might have to take place.

There is some office space remaining in the office building located next door to Town Hall that has been used by Destination Osoyoos staff over the past few years, he said. Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre recently signed a three-year lease agreement with the Town to take over the majority of space in that building effective Jan. 1.

There is also space available in the Cactus Centre, which has been home to the Osoyoos Food Bank for several years, he said. The food bank recently moved its operations back to the Osooos Baptist Church.

Council also has the option of fixing the leaking roof, but that will come at a substantial cost as public works staff made it very clear the section of roof they tried to fix last week is beyond repair and would have to be rebuilt, he said.

“We have to take a look at what is a fix and where do we get the money to fix that,” said Romanko,

Kara Burton, the longtime manager of the Osoyoos Museum & Archives, said there has been various leaks over the quonset area of the museum for many years.

“We’ve had leaks up there for more than a decade,” she said. “We’ve had people take a look at the roof and been told many times it’s basically beyond repair. Nobody will touch it.”

The new leaks are at the south end of the building where the museum has its storage area, office space and downstairs into a popular display area, she said.

The Osoyoos Museum was scheduled to move into the current Osoyoos Home Building Centre building on Main Street in the fall of 2016, but those plans were cancelled when council voted to save close to 20 full-time jobs at the retail outlet.

A new lease was signed, meaning the Osoyoos Museum is not scheduled to move into its new home until the spring of 2020.

Osoyoos Home Hardware was tentatively scheduled to move into a new location in a new building proposed for a large lot adjacent to the Osoyoos Airport, but the company’s head office issued a release last year stating those plans had been cancelled for the time being due to economic realities.

Meanwhile, Town staff are expected to continue working with Burton and the museum’s board of directors to consider all options if the leaking roof problems get worse and leave no other option but to move the archives and office to another location.

The museum will remain open until further notice, said Burton.

The Osoyoos Museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the fall and winter months.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

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