Rec centre renos get underway

Extensive renovations at Greater Vernon Recreation Centre will begin Monday, May 25

  • May. 16, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Extensive renovations at Greater Vernon Recreation Centre will begin Monday, May 25, beginning with the recreation centre bridge and entrance way.

The renovation project is expected to take 12 to 16 months to complete, and the facilities will remain open during all phases of construction with alternate entrances available to activities.

“The bridge and east entrance area will not be accessible during the first phase of construction,” said City of Vernon communications and grants coordinator Tanya Laing Gahr.

Visitors to the centre can use the west entry doors and are encouraged to use the curling rink parking lot off of 39th Avenue and the Priest Valley-Halina Centre parking lot off of 35th Avenue. Additional disabled parking stalls will be added to these lots to assist those with mobility challenges.

“We want to assure our participants and visitors that we are open for business and open for fun and fitness throughout the project,” said Doug Ross, director of recreation services.

“The goals of the recreation centre renovation are to improve accessibility for all age groups and people with disabilities, bring a refreshed look to the facility as well as create a lively people space by expanding the existing lobby and developing the outdoor space.”

The renovation focuses on upgrading the lobby entry to the facility, while introducing a new food kiosk, upgrading the finishes and general functioning of entrance spaces to achieve a welcoming environment.

All access points will feature new double wide sliding doors to provide improved mobility impaired access as well as better overall management of people flow.

In addition to improving accessibility, these changes will also improve temperature control and energy efficiency.

Exterior upgrades will include a refurbished bridge, improved lighting, bicycle storage, planters and enhanced connection between the soft and hard landscaped areas.

Some of the existing trees will be trimmed or removed. New trees will be planted as part of the project.

Council approved a budget of $1,375,000 for the project as part of the strategic goal of keeping Vernon a safe, vibrant, family community.

Maddocks Construction Ltd. of Armstrong are the contractors for the project.

The  Vernon Recreation Centre experiences an estimated 350,000 user visits each year, most of them passing across the main bridge and through the east lobby entrance.

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