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Site preparation to start this fall on dual-purpose aviation museum, conference centre in Kelowna

The building will be located beside Kelowna International Airport, and will feature several amenities, including two hangars dedicated to heritage aircraft displays. KF Aerospace

Site preparation is expected to start this fall on KF Aerospace’s Centre of Excellence – a modern building that resembles a plane and will double as a conference centre and a museum.

Announced in June 2019, the dual-purpose building is projected to have a price tag of $25 million.

On Tuesday, KF Aerospace announced the location, along Lapointe Drive beside Kelowna International Airport, and updated building plans, which saw the footprint grow to 60,000 square feet from an estimated 50,000 when the building was first announced.

Read more: KF Aerospace CEO Barry Lapointe to build Centre for Excellence

According to KF Aerospace, the building will have two hangars for heritage aircraft displays, including a Second World War fighter plane, a Hawker Tempest MKII that’s currently being restored.

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The building will also feature an airfield viewing gallery, a cafeteria and an upper story for conference rooms.

Construction was slated to start in spring 2020, in conjunction with KF Aerospace’s 50th anniversary.

Click to play video: 'KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence' KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence
KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence – Jun 24, 2019

Those construction plans, though, were delayed. The company said the original site wasn’t developed, with costs proving to be a no starter, while LaPointe Drive was already developed and will require a small amount of grading to prep for a January 2021 construction start.

Further, the building was to house 15,000 square feet for Okanagan College’s aircraft maintenance engineering program. On Tuesday, though, KF Aerospace said the college wouldn’t be partnering at this time.

KF Aerospaces also says the centre will host public tours and educational programs, and provide visitor access from the Kelowna Rail Trail.

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The company says site preparation will begin this fall, with construction slated to follow in 2021 and an expected opening in spring 2022.

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