During its Strategic Planning session held on Friday, June 19, Vernon City Council passed a resolution to continue moving forward with the planning process for the proposed Active Living Centre project, as a City of Vernon facility at this time. Staff were directed to review and report back to Council on what the process would be and what resources and funding would be required in order to move the project towards a referendum in the Fall of 2021.
City Council recently received the results of the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study. The study was established as a result of the 2018 Recreation Master Plan, in which the Greater Vernon community identified a need for new indoor recreation opportunities. It was conducted by FaulknerBrowns Architects and staff from Greater Vernon Recreation Services.
The final recommendation of the study, based on the extensive multi-faceted public consultation, was to build a new facility on the former Kin Racetrack site that includes: a 50m pool, leisure pool, double gymnasium, fitness centre, walking/running track and multi-purpose spaces.
The study provided several options for the development of the facility, including building the facility all at one time or in phases. During its Regular Meeting of May 25, Vernon City Council supported in principle the conceptual plan for the Active Living Centre as presented, and the option to go to a referendum to borrow up to $90 million to build the full facility at one time.
Greater Vernon Recreation provides services to residents of the entire Greater Vernon region, including the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C. Following a presentation to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, further discussion of the Active Living Centre project was tabled to a future date. The District of Coldstream Council subsequently notified the City they passed a resolution that the District “is not willing to proceed with the Active Living Centre project until the Greater Vernon Cultural Centre project is resolved.”
“While we will 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,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “This will be a very large and important project for our City and our region, and projects of this size can take four to five years before a new facility’s doors would be open.”