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

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

No decision yet from Sagmoen bail hearing

Provincial court judge is expected to decide next week if Silver Creek man to remain in custody

Snakes knock Capitals, Bulldogs

Vernon Vipers claim two road wins over the weekend

Halina Seniors Centre benefits from donation

The Coldstream Women’s Institute makes a $1,000 donation to the Vernon centre

Investigators seek public help to identify accused fraudster

Thousands of dollars in charges racked up on stolen credit card

Hope raises thousands for two Kelowna charities

The event Hope in Her Eyes managed to raise more than $17,000 for two Kelowna non-profits

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

NDP Health Minister calls to offer woman seat on Interior Health Board

Joyce Beddow-Buckland of Ashcroft was surprised by the call, and accepted the offer.

The 2018 Vernon Walk for ALS is set for June

Thanks to dedicated volunteers, this year’s event will take place June 9 at Polson Park in Vernon

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Vagina Monologues hits the Kelowna stage this week

Okanagan production set to target a hot topic: vaginas

Halina Seniors Centre benefits from donation

The Coldstream Women’s Institute makes a $1,000 donation to the Vernon centre

Most Read