Active Living Centre Feasibility Study

Project objective: ‘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 2018 Recreation Master Plan indicated the need for facility development and specifically the need for the following facilities as the highest priority:

  • Aquatic Centre (a NEW pool to increase aquatic use capacity, upgrade existing pool features)
  • Gymnasium(s)
  • Dedicated Program Spaces 
  • Fitness Space
  • Indoor Walking / Running Track

Based on community input, the Feasibility Study has outlined a Preferred Design Option for the development of a new Active Living Centre and is determining associated costs to build and operate.

Preferred Design Option and Costing Report

What We Heard Report

FaulknerBrowns Architects worked with the Feasibility Study Committee to develop a preferred design option that considers:

  • Amenities aligned with the facility priority recommendations identified in the Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan.
  • Synergies of use and Community Support for one location vs two
  • What We Heard from the Community through public engagement

Below are conceptual designs for the proposed Active Living Centre facility.


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Active Living Centre Feasibility study! We’re happy you’re here.

Outcome of the Feasibility Study
The Feasibility Study will provide clear direction for Greater Vernon to implement the recommendations and move forward to referendum.  The Feasibility Study will assess the level of community support for:
The development of a new Active Living Centre
Upgrades to the Vernon Aquatic Centre
Funding options (i.e. taxes, user fees, etc.)
Public Engagement Process and Outcomes

The following information was gathered through the public engagement process and shows the design options as we moved through the process.


Consultation and Engagement included:

  • Pop-up engagements
  • 6 Focus group workshops with 86 participants
  • Representing over 20 user groups
  • Online surveys
  • Open House
  • An interactive workshop with Council and our community partner elected officials
  • Direct mail survey conducted in March 2020.

Controlled Direct Mail Survey

A Resident Survey was mailed out directly to residents on March 1, 2020, and was completed by March 30th. This survey was conducted to gather additional resident feedback on the needs for the identified recreation amenities, siting, and overall support for the project in terms of tax implications.

  • Responses were received from total of 530 households.
  • The proportion of responses received generally align with the population distribution in the service area with some variance in the electoral areas.
  • The Margin of error is +/-4.3%
  • If the survey was conducted again using the exact same parameters it is estimated that the results would be within +/-4.3% 19 times out of 20)

The Survey Questions were designed to help answer the Feasibility Studies main questions:

  • What amenities should be included – both aquatic and dry facilities?
  • Should the facility be built on one site or on two or more?
  • How much would you be willing to pay through taxes?


Engagement Outcomes: Post-Survey Assessment

The Design Team reviewed the Short-list design options prepared in late 2019 against the Assessment Criteria.

Option 1 was a single facility that met all the determined needs and desires of different residents and user groups on a single site but was too costly to build.

Option 2 provided new indoor recreation spaces in a new facility but kept the Existing Vernon Aquatic facility operational with major renovation work. This was determined to be too costly to operate on an ongoing basis.

Option 3 met all the aquatics needs with an expanded Vernon Aquatic Centre as well as a second Dry Sports facility adjacent to Kal Tire Place. This option did not meet the communities desire to keep the new amenities on one location and created parking problems at the Recreation Complex.


The Design Team concluded that the preferred option a hybrid of the first two options: Option 1 design in a way that would allow for Phased Construction Delivery.

Potential Next Steps for the Project

Additional Considerations for Next Steps

  • Recreation Agreement calls for a unanimous vote of the Community Partners to move forward with a project
  • Additional considerations will include:
    • Communications Strategy for Referendum
    • Finalizing preferred site
    • Explore possible funding and operating models
    • Selection of project delivery strategy/procurement type (Traditional Design-Bid-Build, Construction Management, Design Build, etc.)

Potential Timeline (towards delivery of a new Active Living Centre Facility)
2022                    Potential Coordination for Referendum and Communications Strategy
Fall 2022             Potential Referendum
Winter 2023       Potential Project RFP Process
Spring 2023        Potential Award & Design Development and Contract Document Preparation
Spring 2024        Potential Tender
Summer 2024    Potential Award & Construction
Fall 2026             Potential Occupancy

Frequently Asked Questions
If a new Active Living Centre is built, where would it be located?

The Kin Race Track lands have been identified as a potential location, however this Feasibility Study will help to determine the location.

What will happen to the current Vernon Aquatic Centre?

The Feasibility Study will look at what upgrades need to be made to the current Vernon Aquatic Centre. Options will include renovations and refurbishing, or repurposing.

Will there be a referendum?

Once the preferred option for Active Living Facilities is endorsed by all elected officials in Greater Vernon, a referendum question will be created and sent to Victoria for approval by the province. Once the referendum question is approved a date can be set for a referendum.