Construction on the new home of Kamloops Search and Rescue and Search (KSAR) and Rescue and Detection K9s of British Columbia (SRD K9s) has entered the final stage.
The two organizations will be operating out of the Cooper Centre, at Eighth Street and York Avenue in North Kamloops. The Cooper Centre was formerly home to Soccer Quest, Dirty Jersey pub and Bowlertime.
The Cooper Centre is the latest Wings Above Kamloops project by the Cooper Family Foundation. Wings Above Kamloops sees the foundation raise money through the family’s real estate projects and use the proceeds for worthy causes. The first was a silent bid project on a new home in Aberdeen, with money raised used to build an addition to the Kamloops Hospice Association’s Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home in Sahali.
The latest project is seeing Cooper Companies build Catalpa Community, a 73-home development on a nine-acre Ord Road property next to the Brocklehurst dog park.The Cooper Family Foundation is donating $10,000 from each home sold to the Cooper Centre project, to help house the two groups.
In addition to the $730,000 donation from the Ord Road development, the foundation is matching the value of surprise gifts — ranging in value from $1,000 to $20,000 — being donated by various sponsors to the homeowners at Catalpa Community.
“In the past, Kamloops Search and Rescue was completely reliant on the generosity of the city and corporate sponsors that graciously allowed us to use their facilities for meetings and training purposes,” KSAR president Dwaine Brooke said. “This new hall will allow us to move our training up to the next level. We strive to provide the community with skilled volunteers ready to assist those in need. Training of our members is, therefore, paramount and this new facility will allow us to keep up with the ever-increasing demands for our services.”
Mike Ritcey, president of SRD K9s, said the facility is welcome and needed.
“Looking forward to working with the canine community in Kamloops and beyond,” Ritcey said. “We will have something for the professional handlers and the recreational dog owners. The K9 training centre will have something for every dog in training.”
The facility is expected to open in January 2022.
Once completed, the facility at Cooper Centre will include a 3,000 square-foot canine physical training centre, regional command centre for Kamloops Search and Rescue, lecture hall, board room, decompression station, offices and vehicle bays.