As the White Rock Museum and Archives Society prepares to celebrate 100 years of White Rock's well-known railway station, another building is also celebrating a milestone anniversary.
Up the hill from the railway station, White Rock City Hall will be celebrating its golden jubilee, having spent 50 years as the headquarters for all of the city's operations since opening July 6, 1963.
Having started as a multi-purpose civic building, the current City Hall initially also played host to the city's police detachment, library and court clerks. In fact, the current council chamber was originally built as the White Rock Courthouse, which is why White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin's chair is so high up.
"It used to be a judge's chair and the room beside the chambers was the judge's chambers," explained Baldwin.
However, in the five decades since opening, many of those other operations have since moved out as White rock continued to grow, leaving the entirety of the facility for city hall's increasing demand for space.
"Now the purpose of the building has changed considerably since it was first built, and so any money we've spent on the building since has been spent on accommodating the change in purpose," said Baldwin.
But like all old things, some upgrades are in order.
"The biggest thing would be the heating ventilation system, which is really bad," said Baldwin. "We need to do a lot of work on things like getting better windows in, we've got single pane, so the energy efficiency of our windows and doors is also bad."
Another key upgrade, said Baldwin, is to improve the appearance of the building.
"It hasn't really been touched much since it was first built, so the appearance both on the inside and outside has to be improved," he said.
Despite the upgrades needed, Baldwin said the building is still serving its purpose well and will likely continue to do so into the future.
"The building itself is well-built. It's a strong structure, the roof is still good and so on, but obviously changes need to be made to keep up with the times and the expectations of the public," he said.
"We do have some work for us, but it's still a good structure and the location is still good."
As for marking the anniversary, Baldwin said if renovations can be completed this year, a celebration might be planned.
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