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Referendum on Summerland recreation facility project expected in fall

Replacement of existing facility expected to cost close to $48 million
The referendum for a new Summerland recreation facility is expected to take place in fall, 2023. The new facility is to replace the aging Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre, which is at the end of its serviceable life. The proposed location for the new facility is in front of the Summerland Arena and Summerland Curling Club. (Carscadden Stokes and MacDonald Architects graphic)

A referendum on Summerland’s recreation centre project is expected to take place in fall, not in spring as initially planned.

At the Summerland council meeting on Jan. 23, council moved to wait on the referendum until the municipality’s application to the Union of B.C. Municipalities Strategic Priority Fund is announced.

The application is for $6 million.

Lori Mullin, director of community services for the municipality, said municipal staff are continuing to work on project details, including obtaining the requirements to complete the application for the Green and Inclusive Community Building grant.

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The project is a replacement of the aging Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre. The facility, on Kelly Avenue, is 47 years old and is at the end of its serviceable life.

This has earlier been confirmed by the municipality’s 2018 Facility Condition Assessment Report.

In addition, the existing facility has ongoing issues including termites, ant and rodent infestations, a leaky roof, hot tub failures, instability of the main pool structure and an inability to source replacement parts because of the age of the pool.

The facility also uses almost twice as much energy as the average swimming pool.

The facility, constructed in 1976 and expanded twice since that time, was built when Summerland had a population of 6,724.

At present, the community has a population of 12,042.

A replacement for the facility has been proposed for Jubilee Road East, in front of the Summerland Arena and the Summerland Curling Club.

The new facility is proposed to be 60 per cent larger than the current facility.

It is slated to include a 25-metre, six-lane pool for swimming as well as a separate, warmer leisure pool and fitness and recreation spaces.

The most recent cost of the project, from November, 2022, is estimated at $48,981,394. A gymnasium and child care facility, earlier considered, are not part of the current project scope.

There are other costs associated with the recreation centre.

Demolishing the existing building is estimated to cost $1,455,063, up from the original demolition estimate of $1,102,321.

Development cost charges add $82,624 to the price tag.

Upgrades to the existing arena building, including a fire suppression system, are estimated at $450,000.

Frontage work on Jubilee Road East is expected to cost between $147,671 and $314,509, depending on the extent of the work.

The cost of net-zero options has not been determined, but a report presented to Summerland council suggested this could add up to $10 million.

Summerland’s 2023 capital budget has an allocation of $100,000 for the next steps and consultants’ support for the recreation centre project.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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