UBC-Okanagan’s downtown tower construction blamed for damage to nearby buildings – Okanagan | Globalnews.ca


Just four months after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open an affordable housing complex in downtown Kelowna, B.C., the building is already dealing with structural damage.

“It’s a little bit heartbreaking,” said Charisse Dalay, executive director of the Pathways Abilities Society, which operates the building.

“This building has been a long-term project.”

The planning for the 68-unit complex on Bertram Street  started back in 2003 but the project couldn’t get off the ground because of a lack of funding.

So damage to the new build isn’t easy to take.

“We’ve seen a few cracks in the foundation as well as on the asphalt  at the back of the building,” Daley said.

The structural damage is being blamed on the adjacent construction of UBC-Okanagan’s downtown campus, which includes a 43-storey tower.

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“We started noticing it…approximately a month ago,” Daley said.

Click to play video: 'UBCO downtown campus one step closer to reality'

UBCO downtown campus one step closer to reality

Others in the area have also come forward with reports of similar damage on their properties.

That includes branch 26 of the  Royal Canadian Legion.

Officials there told Global News they first started noticing the damage back in March.

The damage includes cracks both on the exterior and interior of the building and bricks that were coming loose.

And next door, a school district building also sustained  damage of a similar nature.

UBC-Okanagan is taking responsibility, telling Global News in an email,  “Given the scale and depth of the project, ground settling was always anticipated.”

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It goes on to say that it is working with the neighbours to assess and monitor the impact of construction, adding that this includes the use of advanced ground-penetrating radar to help identify any changes below ground that could affect the stability of the surrounding buildings.

“They are telling us that if there’s any damage caused by the construction, they’re absolutely accountable to rectify it,” Daley said.

UBC-Okanagan said  the buildings in question were inspected by engineers and have been deemed to be structurally sound and safe despite the visible cracking.

Click to play video: 'Students reveal more RCMP resources needed to enhance safety on and off the UBC-Okanagan campus'

Students reveal more RCMP resources needed to enhance safety on and off the UBC-Okanagan campus

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