Vernon city councillors showed interest in building out a new recreation facility in full at the Kin Race Track site and go to referendum to borrow up to $90 million during the regular meeting May 25, 2020. (City of Vernon)

Vernon forges ahead with planning of new rec centre

Mayor hopes community partners become involved with $90M project in the future

The City of Vernon is looking at forging ahead with planning of the new recreation centre despite a lack of support from its Greater Vernon Recreation partners.

Although City of Vernon councillors supported the proposed multi-million dollar Active Living Centre slated for Kin Race Track, the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee tabled future talk of the project and the District of Coldstream, a recreation partner, said it isn’t willing to proceed with the new centre “until the Greater Vernon Cultural Centre project is resolved.

Instead, the City of Vernon resolved to go ahead with the planning of the new centre as a city facility during a strategic planning session Friday, June 19.

“While we continue to discuss this project with our community partners and hope they will participate in the project in the future, council felt it was important to keep the process moving forward and not lose any momentum,” Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming said.

City staff have been directed to report back to council on what processes, resources and funding would be required to move the project forward toward a Fall 2021 referendum to borrow up to $90 million.

City council recently reviewed the results of the feasibility study which identified a need for new indoor recreation opportunities.

Based on extensive multi-faceted public consultation, the study recommending the build out of a new facility with a 50-metre pool, leisure pool, double gymnasium, fitness centre, walking and running tack and multi-purpose spaces.

The study examined several options, including the building out of the new facility in phases or all at once. Council supported the more cost efficient complete build out during its regular meeting May 25. Council also supported the option to go to a referendum to borrow up to $90 million to complete the work.

“This will be a very large and important project for our city and our region,” Mayor Cumming said. “Projects of this size can take four to five years before a new facility’s doors would be open.”

READ MORE: Virtual radiothon raises $50K for Vernon hospital

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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