BEYOND THE HEADLINES: Good money after bad

Civic Arena was once the pride of Vernon but that’s a distant memory.

Civic Arena was once the pride of Vernon but that’s a distant memory.

On Monday, Vernon council was presented a shopping list of costly repairs by facilities manager Jim Coughlin.

Among the most serious items highlighted by Coughlin are:

“Cracking top chord truss – $10,000: This project is underway and we are planning on having it completed before the end of the year.

“Cracks in perimeter concrete walls – $5,000: The worst offending crack and the damage it caused was on the west wall lower storage area for minor hockey. The wall was opened up from the inside to find a failing insulated wood wall against a concrete wall that is decaying away at the bottom. Before this item can be fully addressed, the two to five-year project of exterior drainage should be completed. This will also cost closer to $20,000 to do the wall repair, not including any concrete repair.

“West washroom – $2,000: The west female washroom has been repaired. The west male room needs a new water closet. This is another ongoing item as we currently had a failure to a urinal in a south washroom. We have major drainage piping failure in all washroom areas.”

“North mechanical room – $1,500: Leak in domestic water. This has been repaired. However, the domestic and heating water loops will continue to have leaks show up as the infrastructure is dated.

“1938 electrical system – $2,000: We have two electrical companies on site doing repairs to different parts of the old system. One is a new lighting upgrade to various light fixtures, The other is upgrading the main light switches to the building. To do a full investigation, I will need to get a consultant involved so we are just fixing the areas that need upgrading now.”

About $54,500 in repairs that are either proceeding or are needed were put before council, but there’s no question that the price tag will soar even higher as other deficiencies are discovered.

“Everything we do seems to open up other problems,” Coughlin told council.

“We’re basically putting Band-Aids on them.”

While the condition of Civic shouldn’t come as a surprise after years of engineering studies, Coughlin’s update was like a slap of reality.

“It’s a sinking ship. It’s a maintenance nightmare,” said one high-level official.

Granted the building dates back to before the Second World War, but Coun. Dalvir Nahal has a valid point when she questions what form of regular upkeep occurred over the decades.

“I wonder where we went wrong and why it deteriorated so badly?” she said.

If Greater Vernon residents agree to twin Kal Tire Place Nov. 28, Civic Arena’s role as an ice sheet will come to an end. Although, some investment will be needed just to keep it running while the new project is under construction.

And if voters shoot down twinning Kal Tire Place, Civic Arena will have an indefinite role hosting 40 per cent of the hockey in town.

That will mean a significant cost for maintenance and upgrades and very little return as $6 million may only extend the lifespan by five to 10 years.

Greater Vernon officials and residents have to decide if throwing good money after bad is the best solution to meet long-term recreational needs or if a fresh start is the way to go.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs is inviting everyone to join them in celebrating Pink Shirt Day safely at home. (Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs)
Pink Shirt Day re-imagined as COVID-19 pandemic continues

The Boys and Girls Clubs are introducing Breakfast in a Box

(Photo: Pixabay)
Enderby chamber proposes new rural e-business training program

The program would help rural-area businesses expand using online tools and insights

Vernon-area photographer Carla Hunt snapped this photo of the ‘biggest bobcat’ she’s ever seen Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Carla Hunt - Contributed)
‘Biggest bobcat I’ve ever seen’: Vernon-area photographer

Photographer Carla Hunt captures wild cat on camera

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read