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Vernon, B.C. officials break ground on new $135.9 million Active Living Centre

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Vernon officials break ground on Active Living Centre
WATCH: Vernon officials broke ground on the city's new multimillion-dollar Active living Centre on Monday. The facility will feature amenities like a 50-metre pool, a multi-purpose room, a walking track, gym and more, and it's all set to open in 2026. Jayden Wasney reports. – Apr 8, 2024

It was a monumental day in Vernon, B.C., as city officials broke ground at the site of the new Active Living Centre — a project that has been seven years in the making.

“This is going to be tremendous,” said Mayor of Vernon, Victor Cumming.

“This is really going to offer the community one more of those great components that people will feel really proud of. It’ll function well and give people a great indoor facility to do a variety of things.”

The new facility, being built on the Kin Race Track lands, is expected to be open to the public by fall of 2026. Cumming added the new rec centre is something the growing community needs.

“Greater Vernon is growing at about 1,000 people a year, so that is bringing about 500 households new to the city every single year, and we have to have a facility that can deal effectively with that,” said Cumming.

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The Active Living Centre will replace the city’s aging pool, which opened back in 1966. It will boast a variety of state-of-the-art amenities, including an aquatic centre with an eight-lane, 50-metre pool with an adjustable bulkhead, two diving boards, a leisure pool with zero-depth beach entry, interactive spray features, a lazy river and a major waterslide.

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It will also feature a fitness centre, double gymnasium with multiple sport courts, a four-lane, 185-metre synthetic walking/running track, and eight multipurpose rooms.

“Council’s endorsement of the final design, budget and construction schedule represents a significant milestone for the ALC project,” says Doug Ross, manager of Project Program.

“The Integrated Project Delivery team worked hard to achieve a versatile design that celebrates the community-building potential of recreation that both meets the everyday needs of the community and has the ability to host events.”

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Clark Builders, a construction company based out of western Canada, was selected to transform the city’s vision and make it a reality. In the company’s 50-year history, it has built over 50 recreational and wellness centres, and say they are eager to begin construction.

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“We’re taking the best of the best elements, and we’re putting them together here, so we’re really excited to see that and this will be the one that has it all,” said Clark Builders senior vice-president, Randy Kyrzyk.

Mayor Cumming also guaranteed that the project would not go over its budget of $135,941,009. Kryzyk says he’s confident in making that promise come to fruition.

“We feel very confident, the partners on the project team are a lot of mechanic, electrical, the structure – so a lot the areas that have a lot of volatility to them – that’s already locked down because they’re partners within the Integrated Project Delivery contract,” said Kyrzyk.

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Heavy equipment is expected to arrive at the site in the coming days as crews get set for preparation work. As a safety precaution, track users will be limited to the north end of the Kin Race Track lands, and are being asked to access the Kal Tire Place north parking lot.

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