December 15, 2014 - 7:35 PM
VERNON - The outdated Vernon Recreation Centre is going modern in look, feel and accessibility.
City council approved $1.3 million for the upgrades and Doug Ross, recreation services director, says the 12-16 month project could begin as early as next spring.
“The plan is to keep the facility open the whole time,” Ross says.
Construction will focus on the lobby area and entranceway, including the bridge over the creek. The redesign also features a food kiosk.
The old bridge, which needs to be replaced for structural reasons, will be shortened, and reclaimed land will be transformed into a patio area.
“People can get a coffee and a muffin and sit outside where they can enjoy the green space, lawns and the creek,” Ross says. “We wanted to create more public spaces to enhance the experience at the recreation centre.”
The food kiosk will also compliment the centre’s room rentals for conferences and shows.
“The goal is to make it a much more welcoming environment for people,” he says.
The front doorway will be redesigned to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, and a new double door vestibule area will help increase energy efficiency and temperature control.
“We see 350,000 people a year come through our doors,” Ross says. “We’re trying to make it a better experience for those people coming and going.”
Throughout the years, the entranceway and lobby have seen some minor aesthetic changes, but Ross says the overall feel of the space remains circa 1966. In the last three years, recreation services has undergone an aggressive maintenance strategy to play catch up and upgrade major facility systems, and now it’s time to focus more on the ‘user experience,’ Ross says.
“It will be very exciting to see it all finished,” he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014