Civic Arena to be demolished

Vernon landmark too costly to repair

Time has run out on the Vernon Civic Arena.

After reviewing numerous options, council decided Tuesday to pursue demolition of the Civic Arena, the oldest such facility in the Okanagan which opened in 1938.

The move came after council received a structural building assessment and cost estimates associated with reusing the building.

“The reports indicated given the state of the 80 year old building, reuse would be technically challenging and very costly,” states the city in a press release. “The Civic Arena would require significant upgrades in order to repurpose it.”

Reports indicated that bringing the building into compliance with the Building Code to a basic shell building would be an estimated $11-12 million. New construction for the same basic shell facility would be $8-9 million. The estimates did not include any interior finishing or upgrades related to a future use.

Discussions about the future of the Civic Arena were sparked by the new ice surface expansion at Kal Tire Place (targeted opening date of Sept. 1, 2018). Once complete, the Civic Arena will no longer be used as an ice surface.

The Civic Arena hosted the 1956 Allan Cup Canadian Senior Hockey Championship (won in five games by the hometown Vernon Canadians), the 1978 Canadian Senior B Lacrosse Championships (won by the hometown Vernon Tigers) and the 1990 Centennial Cup Canadian Junior A Hockey Championship (won 6-5 in overtime by the hometown Vernon Lakers over the New Westminster Royals).

The old barn has also hosted rock concerts, boy scout ice jamborees, legendary basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters, and has been the permanent home of the Vernon Coca Cola Classic Pee Wee Invitational Hockey Tournament during the Vernon Winter Carnival since the tournament’s inception in the 1970s.

City staff are expected to outline a process for demolition early in the new year, including the salvage and reuse of materials, specifically the big timber trusses in the building, cost estimates for demolition and potential funding sources.

Council vetoed a staff recommendation to bring together a “diverse spectrum of the public, including youth and the tourism advisory committee,” and design a future park to be developed on the arena site.

“I think we should demolish the building, then wait. We’ve got enough to do. Actually, we’re behind; we’re overworked,” said Coun. Brian Quiring. “I don’t want to start another process or rush into anything here.”

Coun. Catherine Lord called for a public participation process.

“I don’t like designing a future park,” she said. “I want to leave that open to public participation, and not just specifically having the site as a park.”

Council unanimously supported Quiring’s motion to defer the site’s future for one year.



newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Letter: Resource sector hangs in the balance

Suits and Boots looks to give resource towns a voice

Okanagan Valley Big Band swings into Vernon

Jazz Club show Saturday, Jan. 26

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil out after back surgery

Vernon tennis star succumbs to nagging herniated disc; undergoes successful surgery

Vernon Wellness Centre celebrates 10 years, donates to hospital

Portion of proceeds Jan. 24 going to Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s Women and Children’s Health Services

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read