There are questions about the viability of the Vernon Recreation Complex after almost $2 million in major repairs have been identified.

Significant repairs revealed at complex

There is growing concern that the Vernon Recreation Complex may have to be mothballed.

There is growing concern that the Vernon Recreation Complex may have to be mothballed.

Preliminary costs for a new facility will be investigated after the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee was told Thursday that almost $2 million in structural repairs are required for the centre.

“It’s a little disturbing to see where it’s falling apart,” said director Mike Macnabb.

“We will have to look at the foreseeable life of the structure.”

Pursuing a new complex was first broached by David Sewell, the Regional District of North Okanagan’s chief financial officer.

“You can pile $2 million into the (current) building and it’s still an outdated building,” he said.

“When do you start strategizing for a replacement? It may be time to plan in advance.”

Directors were told that the main problem is the dehumidification system was undersized when the pool was constructed in 1993. The unit was shut off because of expensive repairs needed to keep it running, but that led to damage to the roof and the walls in the pool area. The projected cost is $1.7 million.

No mould has been found but there is some concern that rotten wood could lead to poor air quality within the pool.

The other issue is the original heating lines were not installed correctly when the complex was built in 1965.

“The lines are all rotten,” said Jim Coughlin, acting facilities manager.

“We have had three breaks and it costs $5,000 each time to fix it. When you have to fix it, you have to shut down the auditorium and the Dogwood Gym. If it breaks again, we’ll be jackhammering the floor.”

Director Jim Garlick believes costs for a potential new facility must be considered as part of determining options.

However, Garlick won’t say that the complex actually needs to be replaced at this point.

“It’s too early to tell,” he said.

“We’re at the preliminary stages of finding out the information.”

The swimming pool, the auditorium and the Dogwood Gym receive about 300,000 user-visits during a year.


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