Media release: Active Living Centre next steps

17 Oct 2022

The City of Vernon is preparing to take the next steps in the development of the Active Living Centre – a new multi-use indoor recreation facility – after electors voted in favour of a borrowing referendum on Saturday, October 15.

More than 8400 votes were cast in the referendum, with 5121 votes (60.9%) in favour of borrowing up to $121 million for the development of the facility.

“This is a significant project for our community,” said Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services. “The results of the referendum now allow us to continue the process for the development of these facilities that were first identified as being needed by citizens in the 2018 Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan.

The development process for the Active Living Centre is expected to take up to four years to complete, with an anticipated facility opening date in the Fall of 2026. Here is the proposed development timeline:

  • Fall 2022: project RFP process to begin
  • Spring 2023: final planning and design phase to begin
  • Spring/Summer 2024: construction of the facility to begin
  • Fall 2026: construction to be completed and facility to open

The final design phase is expected to take a full year to complete and will include additional public engagement to help determine design elements such as aquatic play features.

“As we discussed during the referendum information campaign, play features will primarily be portable in order to create versatility within the new aquatic centre,” said Ross. “They could include things such as inflatable play features, a NinjaCross course that can be lowered from the ceiling, or a sonic wave ball to create wave action. But of course, we’ll also seek input on more permanent play elements such as slides, sprayers, bubblers, and a rock climbing wall to ensure the space is fun for kids of all ages and abilities.

“The Active Living Centre will be designed to serve a growing community with a diverse set of sport and recreational needs, while also having the opportunity to attract new residents and visitors. The design phase will include a strong focus on inclusivity, accessibility, and creating a fun and family friendly environment. Now that we have approval from citizens to move forward with the project, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get going.”

The Active Living Centre, a key part of Vernon City Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, will be constructed at 3501 43rd Avenue, in the heart of the newly designated Kin Race Track Athletic Park near Kal Tire Place.

To learn more about the Active Living Centre project, to follow progress on the development of the facility, or to participate in future public engagement opportunities, visit www.engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre.

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