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Heritage landmark to become visitor centre

July 28, 2016 10:46 A.M.
B.C. Sheep Breeders Building takes on a new life as visitor centre. (Google Earth)

The City is spending $150,000 to add new life to a local landmark and open its doors to the public as a heritage site.

Repairs and upgrades to the B.C. Sheep Breeders Building at 961 Lorne St. are underway and involve much more than a facelift.

Built in 1929, the building is a former industrial warehouse that serves as a testament to the sheep breeding and wool industry in Kamloops in the 1920s and into the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Improvements will include residing the building with new wood painted in the original colour schematic to maintain the exterior heritage look of the building is not compromised. New windows, window protection, lighting upgrades, subfloor construction, landscaping and fire suppression engineering are all included in the upgrades. The project started this week.

The City and Kamloops Museum and Archives are transforming the building, formerly a prop and costume storage facility for Western Canada Theatre, into a more secure environment. The building's primary role will be to support the KMA with a visitor centre at the heritage site.

Museum supervisor Julia Cyr said the building offers an exciting opportunity to tie in community history and education through exhibits and artifacts.

"We also envision this as an opportunity to create a visitor experience," she said. "We can transform the place," with tours, talks and lectures on the many layers of Kamloops' history."

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