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VIDEO: Dog park doomed as preparations begin on new school

The demolition of the old George Pringle School signals an exciting time in West Kelowna with a brand new high school in the works.

But as dog owners watch it unfolding from the adjacent dog park, the view is not so fetching.

To make room for the school, the dog park has to go, along with a community garden.

"There's a lot of people that are crushed," said dog park owner T.J. Gardner. "It's a great park."

For Nicole Davis who lives just up the hill, it will be a big loss."

"There's really easy access and a central location," she said.

"Obviously we need the school," said Fay Hunt, who brought her three basset hounds to the park.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"But why take away something that's also important to dog owners."

Still, they aren't being left completely in the lurch.

Last month, West Kelowna council agreed to consider adding a new dog park, in the Smith Creek area.

But for people used to the centrally located dog park by George Pringle, it's small consolation.

"Where they're planning on putting it isn't as big," said dog owner Gayle Hudson. "And it's farther away."

Davis said she wouldn't make the drive.

"It's not worth it, going down to Peachland makes more sense," she said.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

To make way for the school project, School District 23 advised the city they needed the Westbank Centre parkland back.

The land is currently being used not just for a dog park, but a community garden as well.

Now the city has until the end of September to find another spot for both.

The city is eyeing Wildhorse Park as a temporary fix.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

A report headed to West Kelowna City Council says the city installed a walking path through Wildhorse Park and the adjacent SD23 property back in 2017.

Staff say it has already become a popular area for residents and their pets.

It's large enough to construct a large and small off-leash dog run, according to staff.

“The walking trails also extend around the outside of the dog park, so people are not forced to enter the dog areas,” the report says.

“There is ample street parking available on Wildhorse Drive, with access to the park provided on the sidewalk.”

Construction on the new dog park could begin as early as this spring.

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