The Thompson-Nicola Regional District will not be sharing a boardroom space with the city and school board any time soon.
Instead, the regional district will continue with plans to renovate the second floor of the library in the downtown TNRD Building for a new boardroom and multi-use space.
The regional district board heard neither the City of Kamloops nor the Kamloops-Thompson school district were interested in sharing space when approached by the regional district.
TNRD Area P (Rivers and the Peaks) director Mel Rothenburger had suggested the three government agencies operating and meeting out of Kamloops collaborate on a space to reduce costs to taxpayers.
The city and regional district have been sharing a meeting space in Sandman Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic, each meeting semi-regularly and neither requiring space on a full-time basis.
Meanwhile, the regional district is looking at a new boardroom and multi-purpose space in the TNRD Building at Victoria Street and Fifth Avenue, a building home to the regional district headquarters, the Kamloops Art Gallery and the Kamloops Library.
Prior to the pandemic, the board had convened in a room on the fourth floor of the building.
Hildebrand told KTW that board room is tight for space, too cramped for use during the pandemic and requires equipment upgrades. He said the board has been meeting at Sandman Centre at a cost to the regional district of $4,000 per month for equipment rentals.
Hildebrand said a new meeting space proposed for the second floor, which is now partially occupied by the library, would encompass the right side of the second floor of the building. Hildebrand said the area lost to the library would be made up in a new library planned for southwest Kamloops. In addition, library activities and other events would occur in the new space.
Hildebrand said the space could be rented out as a way to collect revenue and offset costs. The large space would include fold-up chairs, speakers and a folding wall to expand or shrink the space as required. The regional district also hopes to equip the space for engagement purposes.
The TNRD began streaming its meetings via video during the pandemic and has promised increased transparency in the wake of reporting by KTW on spending at the regional district.
Equipment in the old space is about a decade old. Hildebrand said the regional district has requested grant funding for a large portion of the proposed project. He told KTW he expects to hear back on that application next month.
If the proposed plans proceed, the TNRD would maintain the former boardroom space on the fourth floor for staff meetings.