The development process for the Active Living Centre is well underway in Vernon, as the City prepares for the construction of a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility within the newly designated Kin Race Track Athletic Park, near the Kal Tire Place and Kal Tire Place North twin arenas.
On October 15, 2022, citizens of Vernon voted nearly 61% in favour of borrowing up to $121M to develop the facility, and on November 28, City Council adopted Loan Authorization Bylaw #5908 to borrow the funds, inclusive of all costs, for development and construction.
The next step in the process was to determine how the facility will be planned, designed and built. Therefore, on December 12, Council endorsed the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process to develop the Active Living Centre. This process has been approved by Mayor and Council as the collaborative framework that best ensures the Active Living Centre has a strong focus on accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability while creating a fun and family friendly environment.
IPD project team
A City of Vernon Active Living Centre IPD project team has been established, including: Chris Sheel, Manager of Procurement, and Doug Ross, former Director, Recreation Services. They will oversee the project and act as the owner’s representatives. Joining Chris and Doug is Crystal Vandermeulen of VDM Consulting. The City's team will be assisted by an IPD Advisor, who will coach and guide the group through the implementation of the IPD model. The purpose of the IPD team is to facilitate the collaborative design, construction, and commissioning of the Active Living Centre.
The IPD process
An important aspect of IPD is that the model merges all parties into a single shared multi-party contract. It transforms the traditional Design-Bid-Build, low bid, change order, adversarial relationship, into one that is team focused and value added, encouraging behaviours that lead to exceptional project performance and value. IPD merges the owner, architect, general contractor, and trade partners early on, to form a team that together conducts a validation phase. The validation phase is conducted over approximately 4-months and project partners together perform preliminary design, intensive cost estimating, and agree upon a Target Cost to owner for the project. This process delivers the kind of detailed and committed budget certainty early on that the City of Vernon requires for this high-profile project.
Active Living Centre objectives
In selecting and utilizing IPD, the City can achieve a higher level of confidence in ensuring the prioritization and delivery of the following objectives as established by Vernon City Council:
- Achieve the goal of the Greater Vernon Active Living Centre Feasibility Study, “to find an indoor facility mix that meets the current and future needs of a growing community and has the opportunity to attract new residents and visitors to the Greater Vernon area”.
- The facility is accessible, inclusive, fun, family oriented and designed for participants of all ages and abilities and includes all facility features as proposed in the Greater Vernon Active Living Centre Feasibility Study and provided to the public during the referendum communication campaign.
- The design of the Active Living Centre reflects the Syilx culture.
- The facility be net-zero ready.
- The facility meets or exceeds the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Gold Certification.
- Budget not exceeded.
- Projected facility opening date by September 2026.
The IPD team will use the listed objectives and embed them in the Active Living Centre project from the beginning. These objectives will be quantified and further refined during the validation phase.
What’s happening now?
The IPD team is currently in the pre-validation phase, which includes the issuing of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for Architect Services and General Contractor Services. An Architect for the project is expected to be chosen by mid-May and a General Contractor is expected to be awarded the project in early June.
In addition to those services, the team has also selected Colliers Project Leaders Inc. to act as the IPD Advisor for the Active Living Centre project. Colliers is a well-respected project management firm in Canada with more than 30 years' experience. Most importantly, Colliers has become a leader in the IPD model and has extensive experience assisting owners and teams to successfully complete their projects.
What will happen next?
Members of the IPD Team will be touring several facilities in other municipalities (including pools, gymnasiums, and fitness centres), to gather information and inspiration for the design of the Active Living Centre.
When will the public be consulted on design?
The conceptual design for the Active Living Centre was based on extensive public consultation conducted for the Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan and the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study. Additional public consultation will take place this year (between June and December) to help refine the final design of the facility.
In the coming weeks, a new Active Living Centre project website will be launched and residents will be able to follow the progress of the project and its public consultation opportunities. Members of the IPD team will also be at the City of Vernon’s 2023 Capital Works Open House on Tuesday, May 30. Details of that event will be released soon.
Until then, residents are encouraged to visit the current Active Living Centre information page at www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre, and follow the City on its social media channels for updates (@CityofVernon on Facebook and Instagram).