December 07, 2015 - 6:30 PM
KELOWNA - It’s a ways off — probably 10 years — but the city wants to see Parkinson Recreation Centre completely rebuilt and will spend at about $50 million to do it.
And with its premier location, the new facility will become a central gathering place for much of the city and pay off in many ways, some that can’t be precisely measured.
That’s the message Kelowna councillors heard during a workshop exploring the options available for the city’s premier recreation facility.
The four options, ranging from complete renovation for $13 million to complete replacement for just over $50 million were detailed for council at an in-depth presentation by consultant John Frittenburg.
His recommendation, endorsed by city staff, was the complete replacement and reorientation of the recreation centre in a full-sized building along Harvey Avenue.
The prominent new building with a “fresh, new street facade” would house three gymnasiums, an eight-lane pool and aquatic facility, programing space, adminstration offices and operations facilities.
A late caveat to that is the possibility of a joint use or an integrated facility constructed in partnership with the Central Okanagan school district, which is planning a new $70-million high school for the former Dr. Knox middle school site beside the recreation centre.
Council was unanimous in its endorsement of the full-replacement option, although mindful of its $50 million price tag.
“I don’t want to be known as the councillor that doesn’t care about costs,” Coun. Luke Stack said.
H2O centre, the city’s last big recreation project was constructed in 2008, cost $46 million and required the alternative approval process to get voter assent.
What swayed councillors, most said, was the potential for increased rental revenue through the construction of the full-sized replacement, which over time offset the $11 million savings of the next-most expensive option.
Project manager Terry Barton told council its selection of a prefered option will simply begin the process of more detailed cost estimates and a public engagement process before the plan next comes before council for final approval.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015