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Cost savings pitched for sports facility

Greater Vernon politicians are trying to balance costs with providing a sports complex that’s viable.

On Tuesday, staff provided the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee with details on the proposed $8.5 million running track and sports field, and options for reducing the impact on taxpayers.

“It’s incumbent on us to make it a cost-effective project and then go out and say it’s a fantastic project,” said Bob Fleming, director.

Directors recently instructed staff to review the conceptual design because of concerns the public may not back the project in an April referendum.

Design constraints exist because of the terms of the lease agreement to use Okanagan College land. Among them is a classroom.

A plan based on minimum lease requirements is $5.4 million.

The primary decision points for GVAC directors in terms of possibly trimming costs are off-site works, the turf field, soccer field construction, the track surface and seating.

The current plan calls for off-site works, as dictated by Coldstream, worth $1 million. That could be reduced to $392,700 if curb, gutter and sidewalk is substituted by a multi-use path.

In terms of the field, the preferred synthetic surface is $1.1 million while natural grass is $525,000.

“Natural grass is less expensive to construct but there is limited seasonal use and limited use because of damage from cleats,” said Keith Pinkoski, parks planner.

Developing a sand-based grass soccer field would cost $195,000 while it would be $50,000 for a soil-based natural grass field.

For a rubberized track, the options are mondon at $1.7 million or a polyurethane surface for $1.5 million. The life sexpectancy for the mondon surface is 25 years while it is 12 years for the polyurethane.

The final issue is seating and whether to go with covered space for 400 people at $400,000 or open air seating for the same crowd for $200,000.

Pinkoski is confident about the $8.5 million package that’s been put together, including construction, consulting fees and contingency funds.

“This facility is not a Cadillac but a good, solid structure,” he said.

Director Rob Sawatzky is concerned that reducing the design could negatively impact the facility’s ability to attract events and support the economy.

“The B.C. Seniors Games is the one that generates revenue,” he said of athletes using local hotels and restaurants.

Directors have also discussed whether some of the items can be fundraised by the facility users.

“There are specific groups in the community that may wish to donate,” said Mike Macnabb, chairperson.

 

The scope of the proposal will be discussed further Jan. 3.

 

 

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