Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky (left) shares a laugh with Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and Greater Vernon Recreation Services programmer Shayne Wright Tuesday as prep work begins on a new play structure for The Lakers Clubhouse in Okanagan Landing.

Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky (left) shares a laugh with Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and Greater Vernon Recreation Services programmer Shayne Wright Tuesday as prep work begins on a new play structure for The Lakers Clubhouse in Okanagan Landing.

Grant gives facelift to Lakers Clubhouse

The Lakers Clubhouse on Cummins Road in Okanagan Landing has become a mini version of the Vernon Rec Centre.

The Lakers Clubhouse on Cummins Road in Okanagan Landing has become a mini version of the Vernon Rec Centre.

Thanks to nearly $75,000 from a provincial government grant, along with funds from the city, the former pitch-and-putt golf course clubhouse has undergone some renovations inside that will allow Greater Vernon Recreation Services to offer more programs.

“We’ve had lots of programs in here since we opened last May,” said Doug Ross, manager of recreation services. “We’ve had summer camps two years in a row, fitness classes, yoga classes, and we’ll have karate out here this year.

“Dance classes are moving here with the new flooring, and there have been weddings, reunions, anniversaries, all kinds of community events.”

Specifically, there are four aspects to the renovation.

Approximately 250 square metres of new resilient flooring has already been put down, which, as Ross alluded to, will help with dance, yoga and fitness classes.

Acoustic paneling and soundproofing inside the clubhouse will take place.

Outside, a bike rack will be added to encourage people to cycle to the facility rather than drive, along with an outside play area that recreational programmer Shayne Wright was instrumental in researching and setting up.

“In mid-October, the play structure will be delivered,” said Ross.

“It’s a large climbing rock that can hold 10 kids on it at once. It’s modular so that further pieces can be added, and there are some ropes attached. It will fit in nicely with the natural area.”

Site work preparation for the climbing rock began Tuesday. It’s expected to be completed in November.

The remainder of the former golf course is a protected area because of the presence of a protected toad species, and will be left as a natural area.

Ross said there is talk of community gardens possibly moving further out on property, which would fit with the animals that have moved in.

The total cost for the project is around $100,000, with $74,500 coming from a provincial community recreation programs grant.

The city will pay 20 per cent of the cost.

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster was joined by Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky in officially launching the play structure portion of the project.

“This is a great addition to our facilities,” said Foster. “Not just for the people at this end of town but for everybody. The city is growing rapidly so it’s a great facility to use.”

Recreation services took over the city-owned building two years ago and have been steadily renovating to house a number of its programs.