It will be a new C-shaped pool, so maybe think of cashew.
The peanut, however, will be a part of the re-tweaked design for Vernon’s iconic Peanut Pool at Lakeview Park.
Council, at its regular meeting Monday, May 9, unanimously authorized staff to allocate an additional $800,000 to the Lakeview Park Wading Pool revitalization project, upping the projected cost to $3.3 million, with nearly $2 million coming from grant funding (Coun. Kelly Fehr was absent from the meeting).
The project team is currently finalizing a schematic design that can be shared with the public. And while the new pool will be C-shaped, city aquatics manager Gary Lefebvre assured council the original peanut will be incorporated into the plans.
“The C-shape provides a clear separation between parent and toddler play area from the area more suited for swim lessons and youth play,” said Lefebvre. “The original peanut pool is acknowledged in the groundscape that basically captures the footprint of the original peanut pool in the concrete design. There’s even talk of putting a small tile detail within the pool body itself to continue those lines through the body of the pool so people can see where the original peanut pool was.”
“This project is super exciting,” said Coun. Kari Gares, used the pool as a kid growing up in Vernon, as did her children and her parents. “The Peanut Pool is iconic. It’s generational, and I do enjoy the fact there’s the inclusion of the peanut symbol in the design.”
Lefebvre said the design reflects feedback received from the public and what can be achieved within the price tag. The design process, he said, was guided by the project goals of accessibility and sustainability.
“The Lakeview Wading Pool will have a zero-depth, beach entry and varying depths of water to meet the needs of a variety of pool users,” he said, pointing out those in wheelchairs can access the pool and can even float out of their chairs at the pool’s deepest part and enjoy the buoyancy.
“The wading pool will be heated with high-efficiency boilers to accommodate infant and preschool swim lessons. The washrooms and change rooms will be universal/single-user stalls located in a central breezeway that can be accessed by both pool and park users. The spray park will be located between the swimming pool and the existing picnic shelter and playground, giving parents a clear view of all three play areas.
“The spray park has been designed so that the area can be enjoyed in the early spring or late fall when the spray features are not yet in operation.”
The wading pool will have a small waterfall and the bigger part of the pool, for older kids, will include a basketball net.
The project work is slated to be completed in late June 2023, and means, unfortunately, the pool will not be operational this summer as demolition of the existing pool is planned for late June (the washroom building will remain in place until the end of the baseball season, September 2022).
Lefebvre said the indoor pool at the Vernon Recreation Centre is more than able to handle an increase in users for the summer of 2022.
“We have considered the impact on the community,” he said. “The summertime is usually a slow time at the indoor pool. A lot of people will go out to the local lakes and enjoy those. We might also see an increase at another pool that we operate in Coldstream (at Lavington Park).”
As the new mechanical, storage, and washroom building will be located in a different location, site prep and pool shell construction can proceed with the existing washroom building in place.