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Vernon  

Wrecking ball for Civic

UPDATE: 3:40 p.m.

Vernon city council has given approval to pursue demolition of the old Civic Arena.

"It will face the wrecking ball," confirmed Mayor Akbal Mund following Tuesday's council decision.

"I feel badly it has to come down," he added.

Council made the decision after receiving reports indicated repurposing the 80-year-old building would be technically challenging and costly – at an estimated $11 to 12 million.

A staff proposal to consider a park on the land has been deferred for a year, on a motion from Coun. Brian Quiring.

"We should take a step back," Quiring advised fellow councillors. "I don't want to rush into anything."

He pointed out the North Okanagan Regional District was looking for land for a new art gallery.

Coun. Catherine Lord called for public participation in the decision making process of the future of the site.

"Maybe we won't want to plan a park, we may want to build on it," she said.


ORIGINAL STORY: 5 a.m.

Vernon city council is being asked to OK a staff recommendation to investigate how much it would cost to demolish the 80-year-old Civic Arena.

In March, city councillors toured the dilapidated ice rink and vowed public consulations on possible renovations.

In May, Coun. Brian Quiring, an architect, said it would be too expensive to upgrade.

Vernon-based Bourcet Engineering, which previously looked at the old structure, said in a letter it would cost $11-12 million to bring it up to code so it could withstand an earthquake.

“The most significant required code upgrades relate to seismic considerations, and the ability of the Civic Arena to withstand a seismic event,” says a staff report. “The major building system upgrades associated with repurposing include the roof systems, the walls, the foundation and the connections between these building systems."

A staff recommendation before council on Tuesday states that “based on the structural upgrade requirements and projected costs associated with repurposing the 80-year-old Civic Arena, council direct administration to prepare a report detailing cost estimates and potential funding sources for demolition.”



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