The Osoyoos Desert Centre is open for the season with a new building. (Vanessa Broadbent / Osoyoos Times)
By Vanessa Broadbent
The Osoyoos Desert Centre is open for the season and with a significant facelift.
After more than a year of fundraising to replace its aged and damaged trailers, the Desert Centre now has a new building housing its exhibits, admissions and gift shop.
The new 12-by-60 foot modular building is slightly smaller than the three mobile buildings it replaced, Osoyoos Desert Society executive director Denise Eastlick said.
“It’s a more concise footprint. We didn’t want to disturb any habitat with a new building, but the layout is much better.”
The society was able to customize the new building, accompanied with new deck, which helped maximize the space, Eastlick said.
“It’s just a very visitor-friendly layout, which is great.”
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With damage from flooding and rodent infestation, the old buildings were beyond repair, Eastlick said.
“The old buildings were second hand when the society got them kindly in 1998, but at that time they were already used,” she said.
“They served us well for 20 years and they held up really well, but they didn’t owe us anything and it was time to get them replaced.”
Although some bills and donations are still coming in, Eastlick is anticipating that the total expenses will align with the society’s fundraising goal of $120,000.
“The community was incredibly supportive,” she said. “A lot of local businesses kicked in and helped us out.”
So far, Eastlick said visitors have been “delighted” with the new building, as well as the new and refreshed exhibits.
The Desert Centre, located on 146th Avenue north of Osoyoos, is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.