Numerous repairs are being done

Numerous repairs are being done

Civic Arena described as ‘money pit’

Staff presented Vernon council Monday with $54,500 in repairs that are either proceeding or are needed

More tax dollars are being pumped into the 78-year-old Civic Arena.

Staff presented Vernon council Monday with $54,500 in repairs that are either proceeding or are needed for the Interior’s first indoor ice sheet, and the ultimate bill could go even higher.

“Have you ever seen the movie Money Pit?” said Coun. Scott Anderson when asked for his thoughts on the situation. “This is not encouraging.”

The issues range from cracking trusses and concrete walls to mechanical room water leaks and upgrades to emergency lighting and fire alarm panels.

“Everything we do seems to open up other problems,” said Jim Coughlin, facilities manager.

In one case, opening a wall for a leak led to a major surprise.

“The concrete is eroding away — the bottom of the foundation,” said Coughlin.

“Before this item can be fully addressed, the two to five-year project of exterior drainage should be completed. This will also cost closer to $20,000 to do the wall repair not including any concrete repair.”

The west male washroom needs a new toilet and a urinal has failed in the south washroom. There is a major drainage piping failure in all washrooms.

Repairs are being done to parts of the 1938 electrical system but a full investigation of the building is required.

“The electrical system is another nightmare,” said Coughlin.

Greater Vernon residents are heading to the polls Nov. 28 on twinning Kal Tire Place, but if that succeeds, some investment will be required at Civic while construction occurs.

“Civic has to last for two to three years,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

About 40 per cent of local ice use is based at Civic Arena.

Coughlin was asked about the ultimate lifespan of the arena.

“We can make it last forever but it’s all money related,” he said.

Lord suggested that about $6 million would be needed for an overhaul and that would only extend  the building for five to 10 years.

While some reports indicate the actual structure is sound, Mayor Akbal Mund is concerned about the physical plant and the ongoing price tag.

“Civic needs lots of work and as time goes on, it will need lots more work,” he said.


“Residents need to understand this building won’t last.”