Historical Society proposes new building behind depot

OROVILLE – Kay Sibley, director of the Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society, presented a proposal to the council about constructing a new building behind the Depot Museum to be used for additional exhibit and storage space.

Sibley said the historical society has a design for a 20′ x 30′ building that was drawn up by her nephew who is an architect.

“We would move the current storage building and add movable exhibit space, as well as bring the walkways up to code. We would like to move the current storage unit into a corner up on blocks,” Sibley said. “The new building would be to separate and not connected to the depot to preserve the depot’s historic designation.”

The OBHS has a new location in mind for the storage unit, in a corner between the depot property and the city yard. There was a question as to whether the location was still within the confines of the depot property, which is also owned by the city or whether it was outside the property. Sibley asked the city if they could find out and even if it is outside the depot property whether it could be used for the old storage building.

Councilman Ed Noel said that he felt that it would be okay for the historical society to begin planning for the new building as long as they stayed in contact with Public Works Superintendent Rod Noel and Building Inspector Christian Johnson.

Sibley also updated the council on the new sign for Madeline Wells Park that the society is donating. She said that they were just about to send the sign off to be made when someone from Canada said they had photographs of the late Wells from when she was younger. Sibley said the society wanted to incorporate some of the photographs into the sign and will update the design before being constructed.

In addition, Sibley asked that the society’s lease with the city be extended to 20 years, rather than the every five years renewal intervals. The OBHS will be more eligible for outside funding and grants if it can prove it has a more permanent location, she explained.

The council authorized Mayor Chuck Spieth to sign an extended lease after being reviewed by city attorney Mick Howe.

The council approved a written presentation of Oroville High School senior Davis Castillo’s design and cost estimates for a second scoreboard at Bud Clark Ballfields. Castillo will be constructing the scoreboard as part of his Senior Project. The design for the scoreboard will closely reflect the one constructed last year by an OHS senior.

“He came to me and wants to do it at the woodshop… it is a pretty ambitious project,” said Councilman Naillon, who teaches the woodshop class.

Supt. Noel said he thought the project was fine and that the new scoreboard and the old one would be placed in a way to best serve all three fields. If another senior builds one next year they would be positioned for one for each field, he added.

“I would like to see the project approved,” said Naillon.

Councilman Tony Koepke voiced his agreement.

On a related issue, City Clerk Kathy Jones said there had been several inquiries about whether the ballfields would be reopened by people who like to use the track that surrounds them. The park was closed after someone vandalized the trees by cutting partway through them.

After reporting that it was too early to determine whether the trees were going to survive, Noel said the park could be reopened at any time.

Jones also reported that 36 of the new 6-foot lighted poinsettia Christmas decorations had been ordered at the half price cost of $200 each. The city is still looking for businesses and individuals that would like to buy more of the decorations. Jones said there are 36 light poles on the east side of Main Street and 26 on the west side.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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