Mission residents came to Fraser River Heritage Park on Wednesday afternoon to view the partially built observatory building. The district is looking for input on what the building can be re-purposed for.

Input sought on fate of Mission’s observatory building

Originally planned as an observatory, the building’s future is in limbo after council determined that the project would not move forward.

Mission residents toured through the partially completed Fraser River Heritage Park observatory building on Wednesday afternoon.

For many, it was the first look inside the structure that has been the centre of an ongoing debate.

Originally planned as an observatory, the building’s future is now in limbo. Last year, council determined that the project would not move forward and the site would be re-purposed. The district has also taken over the renovation of three other buildings in the park, including the Blackberry Kitchen.

The observatory debate began in December 2014 after the district gave notice to the Mission Heritage Association (MHA) that it would not be renewing its agreement to maintain the facilities at the Fraser River Heritage Park. As part of that decision, the observatory project was eventually scrapped.

MHA members have been vocal in their opposition of the move.

Wednesday’s open house was held to allow the public to make suggestions on what the building could become. Several supporters of the observatory were on hand to suggest the project be renewed.

“I’m here because I believe this building should not be re-purposed to anything other than the observatory concept for which it was built,” said MHA president Brian Antonson, who added many people who attended the open house felt the same way.

“These people came here because they believe it should be an observatory. As one fellow said, ‘They’re a biased group’ and, of course, it is. That’s why they came out, to show their support.”

Mission Mayor Randy Hawes was on hand to talk to members of the public about the building. He said now that council has analyzed all the information about the observatory and determined the project won’t work well, they are seeking alternative uses.

“We’re saying the building is here, what can it become? And we’re asking the public, give us your two cents worth and ultimately we’ll make a decision,” said Hawes.

Some suggestion discussed by attendees included a community centre, music venue, art gallery, meeting space for non-profit organizations, tearing the structure down entirely and an observatory.

“There has been some stuff put out on social media and I know some are saying build the observatory, but that ship has sailed. So we’re looking at what can we do,” said Hawes.

Input from the open house will be included in a report to council to determine the future of the building.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote in Mission

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

John Morrow photo
Barn catches fire near Abbotsford airport

Fire closes Mt. Lehman Road between Marshall Road and Abbotsford International Airport

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Metro Creative Connection Photo.
Mission council decides to revert back to ‘lifetime’ fire-pit permits

District moving towards restriction, rather than prohibition, of backyard burns

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read