UPDATED: Order partially lifted for gymnastics club

UPDATED JUNE 12 3:25 P.M. – The Regional District of North Okanagan has lifted the do not occupy for assembly use

order for the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics’ main facility on Vernon Road.

Officials say the order removal is in recognition of the property owner’s efforts to close the mezzanine area of the building and the continuance of the do not occupy order on the secondary accessory facility.

“RDNO is satisfied that appropriate progress is being made on the primary health and safety concerns along with a commitment to eventually meeting the requirements of the B.C. Building Code,” said David Sewell, chief administrative officer.

“RDNO remains committed to working with the property owner to meet all of the building and zoning requirements in a timely manner to allow for the issuance of a valid building permit for assembly use.”

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The Regional District of North Okanagan insists there’s a few hoops to jump before a sports facility can reopen.

On Monday, RDNO received an engineering report from the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics Club and a do not occupy order could be rescinded if the mezzanine in the club’s main facility is closed and there is an agreement to rectify other issues.

“We are in communication with the property owner through their lawyer and we’re looking forward to resolving the matter,” said David Sewell, RDNO chief administrative officer.

The do not occupy order was initiated on the East Vernon Road facility June 9.

In January, RDNO proceeded with actions to legalize the use of a gymnastics facility. A condition identified at that time was the district receiving a report from a professional engineer outlining the necessary alterations to bring the buildings used for gymnastics purposes into compliance with the B.C. Building Code and RDNO’s building bylaw.

On June 9, the regional district stated the club had not submitted a formal report meeting these requirements.

The engineering report received Monday indicates there are issues with the mezzanine stairs and guard (rail), and the consultant is recommending closing the mezzanine to public analysis until a way to achieve conformance can be achieved.

“The goal is to co-operate with the regional district,” said Shane Dugas, a local lawyer representing the club.

Dugas says the club is working with an engineer on the mezzanine related issues and those could take 30 days to complete.

While RDNO states other issues involving plumbing and electrical must be targeted to meet the B.C. Building Code, Dugas says, “The other issues have been resolved.”

Ultimately, a building permit and occupancy permit will be required for the club’s facilities.