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Surprise construction costs blow new Vernon sports track budget

Unexpected construction costs mean the new Greater Vernon Athletic Park is an estimated $790,000 over budget.
March 02, 2015 - 4:42 PM

VERNON - Unexpected costs mean Vernon’s new sports track is more than three quarters of a million dollars over budget.

But taxpayers shouldn’t worry about the $790,000 overrun, says Greater Vernon director Mike Macnabb. The extra funding is expected to be recovered through reserves and donations.

“We have a very aggressive plan to get some contributions from various sports groups,” Macnabb says. “Also, we have gone forward with a proposal for naming rights.”

The $7.5 million facility as a whole will be called the Greater Vernon Athletic Park, but naming rights will be available for individual pieces like the track itself, or the stands.

A big reason the cost is so much higher than anticipated is due to a surprise finding in the soil. Initial test holes missed a large clay deposit in a corner of the site which later had to be dug out and filled in with new material.

Other factors that played into the unforeseen costs were the plummeting Canadian dollar, and difficulty finding workers due to competition with the Alberta oil patch.

Certain features of the facility were cut — such as showers in the change rooms — to keep costs down. Those, and other additions, can be added in the future, Macnabb says.

Construction is expected to wrap up in June, but Macnabb says the facility won’t be used for any big events for awhile.

“We’d like to run a full year just using it and making sure everything is up to snuff, then go hard at trying to get competitions like the Seniors Games to come to Vernon,” Macnabb says. “The facility itself is going to be a huge asset to the community.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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