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Process evolving for construction of Vernon’s Active Living Centre

The $121 million project is expected to be opened by September 2026
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Active Living Centre conceptual design. (Submitted photo)

The City of Vernon continues to prepare for the construction of its Active Living Centre, and says the development process for the project is well underway.

The Active Living Centre will be a new multi-purpose indoor recreation facility within the newly designated Kin Race Track Athletic Park, near Kal Tire Place at the north end of the city.

Vernon residents voted in favour of borrowing up to $121 million for the project in a referendum held in conjunction with the municipal election Oct. 15, 2022. Nearly 61 per cent voted in favour of borrowing the money. Council adopted a bylaw to borrow the funds on Nov. 28.

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.

Council endorsed an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process on Dec. 12 to develop the Active Living Centre.

An IPD project team has been established, including Chris Sheel, manager of procurement, and Doug Ross, former director of Recreation Services. Joining Sheel and Ross is Crystal Vandermeulen of VDM Consulting. The city’s team will be assisted by an IPD advisor who will coach and guide the group. The purpose of the IPD team is to facilitate the collaborative design, construction and commissioning of the Active Living Centre.

In selecting and utilizing IPD, the city aims to achieve a higher level of confidence in ensuring the prioritization and delivery of the following objectives as established by 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 these objectives and embed them in the Active Living Centre project from the beginning.

The IPD team is currently in the “pre-validation” phase, which includes issuing requests for proposals for architect services and general contractor services.

The team has also selected Colliers Project Leaders Inc. to act as the IPD advisor for the project. The city says 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.”

Members of the IPD team will be touring several facilities in other municipalities, including pools, gyms and fitness centres, to gather information and inspiration for the design of the Active Living Centre.

The conceptual design for the project was based on extensive public consultation, and more public consultation will take place this year between June and December to help refine the final design.

In the coming weeks, a new Active Living Centre website will be launched for residents to follow the project’s progress and its public consultation periods. Members of the IPD team will also be at the city’s 2023 Capital Works open house on Tuesday, May 30. Details of that event will be released in the coming days.

Until then, residents can visit the current Active Living Centre information page at engagevernon.ca/activelivingcentre.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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