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Vernon's former race track could become activity centre, park and housing

A conceptual design of the inside of the Active Living Centre.
Image Credit: City of Vernon

Vernon’s former Kin Race Track could be the site of a new indoor recreational facility, a park and used for housing.

In May 2020, a feasibility study was conducted for the future of an Active Living Centre that would be housed on the former horse race track site on 43 Avenue.

Based on the results of the study, the recommendation was to build a new facility on the former race track site including a 50m pool, leisure pool, double gymnasium, fitness centre, walking/running track and multi-purpose spaces, according to the City of Vernon.

The study provided several options to develop the facility including building the facility all at one time or in phases. During a May council meeting, councillors supported the idea of a conceptual plan for the Active Living Centre, and the option to go to a referendum to borrow up to $90 million to build the full facility at one time.

If built at one time, the cost would equal $83 million and annual operating costs are estimated to be roughly $1.4 million, according to the city.

However, uncertainty remains around the Active Living Centre until a referendum has been held. It currently has been set in conjunction with the upcoming municipal election for Oct. 15, 2022.

The Active Living Centre will take up roughly eight acres of land and would ideally be located near the ice arena in order to share parking, however, city staff note this is a challenge but background analysis is ongoing.

After considering the Active Living Centre, 15 acres of land at the Kin track property could be developed into a park to accommodate the centre and five acres can be used for housing and internal roads.

“While a detailed plan has not been prepared, it is anticipated that the park area would be a mix of developed (structured activities and sports) and undeveloped spaces (passive park and leisure spaces),” according to a report that will be presented during a committee of the whole meeting, Monday, June 28.

The park area would cost between $12 and $21 million.

“Should the Active Living Centre proposal not proceed, and that portion of the site was to be developed as parkland, this amount would increase by approximately 50%,” according to the report.

"The overall planning process for the development of this site has been delayed due to other priority projects, uncertainty surrounding the Active Living Centre, and necessary background analysis. Geotechnical analysis has recently been undertaken and did not identify significant limitations for any of the above uses."

An update on the project, which has been listed as one of the city's top priority projects, will be presented during the committee meeting June 28. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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