An artist’s rendering shows what the exterior of the Vernon Recreation Complex could look like after renovations.

An artist’s rendering shows what the exterior of the Vernon Recreation Complex could look like after renovations.

Renovations to transform rec complex

One of Vernon’s busiest amenities is undergoing a major facelift

One of Vernon’s busiest amenities is undergoing a major facelift.

City council approved spending $1.3 million Friday to renovate the entrances, lobby and main bridge at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

“I’m very excited about this project because this is a very tired, old building,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

The recreation complex experiences about 350,000 user visits annually.

“For the most part, the look and feel are circa 1966,” said Doug Ross, recreation services director.

The renovation project includes an outdoor lounge, a food kiosk, expanding the lobby and a refurbished bridge at the main entrance. All entrance doors will also be made accessible for people with mobility issues.

“We want to create a lively people space,” said Ross.

Not only will the concession serve the patio area, it will be able to cater events in the auditorium, increasing the possibility of bookings.

Another focus of the renovations will be improved exterior lighting.

“Lighting is important for our female and younger patrons,” said Ross.

“When a parent drops off a child in the traffic circle, they can then be confident their child will walk through the front door safely.”

With early 2015 budget approval to proceed, it’s expected the renovations will start in the spring and take 12 to 16 months to complete.

“The plan is to have the recreation complex open the whole time,” said Ross.

The $1.3 million will come from the recreation facility and program reserve fund and the 2015 major maintenance projects operational budget.