A staff report is recommending that the partially completes observatory building be demolished.

A staff report is recommending that the partially completes observatory building be demolished.

Observatory should be demolished, according to report

A staff report will be presented to Mission council on Monday (June 6) recommending that the observatory building be torn down.

The observatory building located in Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park appears to be one step closer to demolition.

A staff report, posted on the District of Mission’s website, recommend’s that the controversial structure be demolished and that efforts be made to re-purpose as much of the building material as possible.

It also recommends that a budget of $25,000 be established for the demolition with money coming from the General Capital Reserve Fund.

Last year, council determined that the observatory project would not move forward and the site would be re-purposed. The district also took 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.

On April 27, 2016, district staff met with the public at an open house, asking what they felt should be done with the partially completed building.

In all, 63 people filled out the questionnaire. Responses include:

  • 23 people said the building should remain an observatory;
  • 23 people advised that it should be re-purposed;
  • Nine said it should be demolished.

Other responses included re-purposing it for now and then make it an observatory at a later date and to make a decision after a parks master plan is created.

According to the report, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee reviewed all the suggestions and decided the best course of action was to demolish the structure.

“The community input did provide some interesting ideas related to additional programming uses in the park but unfortunately the size of the building will preclude most of these uses,” the report states.

The observatory building is 2,440 square feet which the report indicates is too small for an art gallery, convention centre, banquet facility or youth or seniors centre, which were all suggestions made by the public.

This report will go before council on Monday, June 6, at the 1 p.m. meeting in City Hall. Council will then vote on how to move forward.