City councillor’s firm hired to design Vernon arena expansion
Howard Alexander - News Editor
Image Credit: Contributed/City of Vernon
April 28, 2016 - 12:37 PM
VERNON – Coun. Brian Quiring is a partner and CEO of the architectural firm contracted to design Vernon’s new arena.
MQN Architects will provide the city with consulting services for the design and development of the new arena to be built next to Kal Tire Place, according to a City of Vernon media release.
A referendum to borrow $13.2 million to build the new arena, which will replace the 75-year-old Civic Arena, passed in November 2016 with 4,265 ballots cast in favour and 3,331 against.
The city says Quiring removed himself during all council’s discussions about the project to avoid a conflict of interest or a perceived conflict of interest.
The city received four bids and evaluated them based on experience and qualifications, understanding of the project and cost control, the city says. The top two bidders made a presentation to the city and went through a round of questions and answers.
The proponent with the best score was awarded the contract, the release says.
“As the original designer of Kal Tire Place and the author of the feasibility study, MQN demonstrated a clear understanding of the project,” city recreation services director Doug Ross says in the release.
Ross says MQN also identified the need to keep the project within the roughly $13-million budget.
The company will consult with user groups and the public as part of the design phase.
One user group, the Vernon Farmers’ Market, has already provided the city with input. Manager Ingrid Baron has complained the market will need to shrink by a third to fit into reduced parking lot space at Kal Tire Place while the facility is expanded.
Geotechnical testing, an environmental impact study, initial design work and a traffic study will start right away.
The new arena is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.
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