Much-delayed Vernon cultural centre focus of in-camera GVAC meeting

Go public on cultural ctr?

Regional political leaders will discuss Vernon's much-delayed cultural centre at a special meeting this afternoon.

While the agenda of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee meeting does not go into detail, Castanet has learned that the sole subject of the meeting is the cultural centre.

The in-camera meeting is closed to the public, however sources say multiple GVAC members are pushing for the matter to go public.

The Greater Vernon Cultural Centre was approved in a 2018 referendum.

It would be built on the site of the downtown Vernon parking lot on 31st Avenue and would house both the Vernon Public Art Gallery and Vernon Museum.

The referendum approved borrowing of $25 million and a total project budget of $40 million, contingent on senior government grants. The grant applications were unsuccessful, however.

An alternative approval process was then used in 2022 to go ahead with a revised $28 million in borrowing.

The project was scaled back last year and in February, a "project vision" was presented to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

There has been no word since from anyone involved.

Revery Architecture of Vancouver was selected as the centre's design partner in December of last year, and at that time work was "scheduled to begin immediately" on a revised cost estimate, with a schematic design scheduled to be complete by early summer.

A date has not yet been given for the start of construction, and there has been no word on Revery's revised cost estimate.

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