Vernon Aquatic Centre plans next steps following 50 year celebration | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon Aquatic Centre plans next steps following 50 year celebration

Image Credit: Contributed

VENRON - Following the Vernon Recreation Centre’s celebration of 50 years of service Vernon Recreation Services are planning the next steps for the delivery of services to Vernon residents.

Upgrades to the Vernon Recreation Centre continue. The new healthy food bistro, outdoor patio area and expanded lobby area are already in use. Other facility upgrades in phase one of the renovation project include landscaping, benches, picnic tables, waste receptacles and bike racks. Phase two work on the back hallway—including new flooring, lighting, electrical and drywall—is underway with an aim to complete the majority of work for the end of May. New disabled accessible doors to the pool viewing area and west entrance are also being installed by mid-June.

“Along with facility upgrades, City of Vernon Recreation Services will soon be issuing an RFP for the development of a Recreation Services Master Plan that will guide the development of programming and facilities for the City,” said Doug Ross, Director of Recreation Services for the City.

Among the considerations for the Master Plan will be current facility usage, including the Vernon Aquatic Centre. Staff continually track usage to determine if the pool is meeting current needs.

In 2015, there were approximately 200,000 user visits to the pool, even while major renovations were taking place: 118,503 public swim user visits, 63,000 program participant user visits and 15,000 Kokanee Swim Club user visits. However, Ross said the facility has the capacity to accommodate these high numbers.

“Our legal capacity in the swimming pool is 603 swimmers and our largest swim in 2015 was 461 swimmers for Family Day,” said Ross. “We had more than 250 swimmers in the pool on only six other occasions.”

The Master Plan will also address programming requirements, as many popular aquatic programs had long waitlists for preferred timeslots, usually after school and work hours. Additionally, some user groups were not able to book the pool during peak usage times.

“There is a trend in aquatics occurring that indicates increased demand on programmed structured activities and a decrease in public swimming,” said Ross. “This change in use is creating more demand for swimming lessons, swim clubs, aqua fitness programs and other aquatic programs.”

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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