Massive Kelowna recreation complex project could come with a huge pricetag - InfoNews

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Massive Kelowna recreation complex project could come with a huge pricetag

Parkinson Recreation Centre.
June 08, 2019 - 7:00 AM

KELOWNA - The replacement cost for Parkinson Recreation Centre is steadily growing as the time to actually do the work draws nearer.

In 2015, city staff estimated $50 million would be needed for a “deluxe” new building with an eight-lane pool and three gymnasiums.  Now, it’s looking more like $100 million, if a parkade is included.  Plus, the province may kick in another $68 million for a high school as part of the overall project.

“We need to increase parking capacity on site, both for the new Parkinson Rec. and for the school as well,” Robert Parlane, the city’s parks, and buildings planning manager told  “Rather than losing playing fields, which are hugely valuable for the city and for the school, we’re looking at; can we afford to put in a parkade?”

The new 10 Year Capital Plan that is going to the city council on Monday includes a number of changes to the costs of Parkinson Rec.

Last year, the price tag was estimated to be $58 million, which was an update from 2015.

The new cost is pegged at $78 million, just for the building.

Another $16 million is suggested to relocate playing fields.

Those are both listed as Priority 1 items – meaning they are likely to get support from city council when it sets its budget each year

The parkade, at $8.6 million, is listed at Priority 2 so, unless other funding sources – such as grants – can be found, it’s not likely to get built by the target date of 2023.

In total, that brings the Parkinson budget to almost $103 million.

A new high school, which needs to be approved and paid for by the province, is budgeted by School District 23 at $68 million.

That means the grand total could be around $170 million.

The site reaches from Highway 97 to Bernard Avenue next to the Apple Bowl and includes the land where the former Dr. Knox Middle School once stood.

Parlane said it’s too early to talk about where each facility will be built or playing fields situated but expects those plans to firm up later this year.

The 10 Year Capital Plan lumps this project in with a couple of others, including two new ice sheets and a “multi-use facility” for the Capital News Centre at a cost of $25.7 million.

It shows that, out of around $125 million in projects, $115 has to be borrowed, so funding will become an issue.


Projects of this size need time for design and may include public consultation.

School District 23 had the high school (identified as Glenmore Secondary School) listed for 2019-20 in its request for funding. That will be in the province’s next year’s budget cycle, at the earliest.

Parlane will likely be asking for $230,000 in next year’s budget to start design work on the Capital News Centre with construction expected to finish in 2022.

The first ask for Parkinson is projected to be $6.6 million in 2021 for completion in 2023.

Parlane stressed that these are numbers in a planning document. Nothing will be done unless city council approves the spending.



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