A popular Vernon swimming hole is due for a facelift that would include a new spray park.
Greater Vernon Recreation Services has asked for, and received, council’s support to apply for funding that will revitalize the aging Peanut Pool at Lakeview Park on East Hill.
Recreation Services will apply for funding that will cover more than 73 per cent of a proposed $2 million upgrade, and the city has agreed to allocate funds for the remaining 27 per cent, approximately $535,000.
“The objective of this project is to revitalize the Lakeview wading pool, making it more inviting, sustainable and accessible to the community,” said Gary Lefebvre, manager of aquatics with Recreation Services, in a report to Vernon council.
The 61-year-old pool does not meet the current needs of the community in terms of utilization and accessibility.
The pool currently sits alone by itself with a playground and washrooms nearby. The proposed revitalization calls for installation of a new spray park adjacent to the pool and replacing and relocating the washrooms and mechanical and storage building.
A new pool design will include a zero depth entry, hand rails, wide pathways and large accessible washrooms to accommodate people with disabilities.
The addition of a heating system will make the pool more comfortable for users on cooler days and allow for the option of swimming lessons to preschool-aged participants.
Lefebvre said if Recreation Services’ funding application bid is successful, they won’t find out until the fall of this year.
“Due to this, administration believes that the soonest the project could get underway would be early 2020 with planning and design work, and potentially with excavation in the fall of 2020,” he said. “Ideally, the project would be completed the following spring with an opening planned for late June 2021.”
Peanut Pool opened in 1958. It’s open to the public, free of charge, for swimming from the last weekend in June until Labour Day.
It’s open nine hours a day, seven days a week, with an estimated 6,000 user visits each seasons. It’s a supervised facility with certified lifeguards on duty during all hours of operation.
“The pool has been a great asset to the community, providing families with a location to build community and cool off on hot, summer days,” said Lefebvre. “For many children, the pool is their first swimming experience.”