Repairs to the outside of the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, caused by birds, has begun. (RDNO - photo)

Birds to blame for Vernon Performing Arts Centre repairs

Northern Flickers have caused damage over the years to the centre, leading to repair bill

Outside repair work at Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre is for the birds.

Well, actually, it’s because of birds.

Specifically, damage caused by Northern Flickers.

In 2018, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) budgeted $150,000 to repair the damage to the exterior insulation and original stucco surface of the Performing Arts Centre and put out a call for solutions through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

“We wanted to explore any and all options,” said Tannis Nelson, RDNO manager of community services, “and we had a great number of ideas come forward.”

Over the years, the RDNO explored a number of innovative and environmental design solutions, including a sound machine that broadcast predatory bird calls; a scent additive for paint that claimed to repel birds; and the placement of ribbons and plastic owls commonly used to scare off the unwanted birds. These less expensive options did not work and the building has suffered numerous large nesting holes, insulation pulled from behind the stucco, and many smaller punctures the birds used to trap insects.

After extensive research and a year of testing of ecologically friendly solutions, the RDNO contracted OKC Coatings through a public RFP process to repair the Performing Arts Centre’s 8,000 square foot exterior façade surface.

OKC Coatings owner Shane Schorr described the new spray-on coating as “a dual polymer solution that dries within seconds of application and as tested, is impenetrable to birds.” Mixed with the original paint colour, the product has been warrantied to protect against bird damage and nesting without requiring removal of the existing stucco surface.

“The product provides the additional benefit of a refreshed coat of paint that has been given a very long warranty period against fading,” said Nelson. “In effect, we have accomplished two major facility repair and maintenance projects at the same time, which saves costs.”

The façade remediation began following this spring’s nesting season and is expected to be completed in time for the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s 2019-20 SPOTLIGHT Season, and the resumption of public performances in September.

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The Northern Flicker has been wreaking havoc on Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre for a number of years. (Pixabay - photo)

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