Regional District of North Okanagan facilities manager Jim Coughlin (left) and City of Vernon director of recreation services

Regional District of North Okanagan facilities manager Jim Coughlin (left) and City of Vernon director of recreation services

Complex ready for maintenance

The pool and weight room will be closed from Monday through to Sept. 22, as will the rec complex’s main office

The Vernon Recreation Complex is getting set for its annual fall maintenance shutdown.

The pool and weight room will be closed from Monday through to Sept. 22, as will the rec complex’s main office.

Registration for fall programs and other information will be handled at Kal Tire Place for walk-in traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (closed on Labour Day Monday, Sept. 2).

You can also sign up for fall programs, or get further information, online at www.greatervernonrecreation.ca.

“It’s been about 15 years since we’ve done some work to the main office,” said Doug Ross, the City of Vernon’s director of recreation services.

“The public will notice a new facade when they come into the rec centre. It will be much more inviting.”

The front counter will be renovated to included a disabled accessible counter, allowing staff to service the disabled at their level.

The registration office is just one of a handful of renovations being done.

The biggest change will come in the aquatic centre.

A 90-ton crane was on-site Wednesday to maneuver the rec centre’s brand new dehumidification unit into place.

The unit, which came via truck from Texas, will improve air quality over the lap pool.

“We’ll have better air quality and more control over it,” said Ross. “It will be more efficient than the old system and should be a cost saving operationally.”

According to the engineering firm, Stantec, the traditional method of dealing with humidity and moisture in swimming pool enclosures has been to circulate high amounts of outside air and use natural gas to heat as required.

The new unit is designed to control humidity by using energy efficient heat pump technology via B.C.’s green electricity.

Gas usage will be minimized, and the centre’s carbon footprint, carbon tax and greenhouse gases will all be reduced. The pool’s old unit is being rebuilt and will be placed over the leisure pool.

A government grant has allowed the rec centre to purchase a new lift chair for people with disabilities for the pool, and there will be improved lighting for the swimming area, making the aquatic centre brighter and more energy efficient.

The aquatic centre’s roof is also being redone during the renovations.

There’s also a big change to the rec centre auditorium.

Glass doors are being installed at the main entrance to the auditorium, which will help eliminate noise for groups using one of the two break-out rooms located off the auditorium.

“It’s going to make the main foyer a public space and we could now accommodate three different events in the auditorium at the same time without interference,” said Ross.

The floor of the kitchen, located off the auditorium, is being replaced for the first time since the facility opened in the 1960s.

Some new exterior doors are being added to the auditorium and Halina Centre.