Recreation Centre Referendum: Proposed facility location
On November 4, 2023, voters in Summerland will be asked if they are in favour of the District borrowing up to $50 million for the purpose of developing the Summerland Recreation Centre – a new multi -purpose indoor recreation facility that is intended to replace the Summerland Aquatic & Fitness Centre, which is at the end of its useable life.
The proposed new facility includes an aquatic centre (that features a lap pool, leisure pool, hot tub, sauna or steam room); fitness centre; fitness/activity multi-purpose room; family/youth multi-purpose room; universal access and family change rooms; and modern energy efficiency building standards (minimum LEED Silver).
The District of Summerland is continuing its series of weekly media releases to share detailed project information to help voters make a well-informed decision for their own household on November 4. This week, the District is providing more information on the proposed facility’s location. If electors vote in favour of the referendum question, the facility is anticipated to be opened by the end of 2026.
Why build a new facility adjacent to the Summerland Arena & Curling Club?
Based on extensive public consultation and a thorough 2022 Feasibility & Site Fit Study, the preferred site for the proposed Recreation Centre is adjacent to the Summerland Arena & Curling Club, at 8820 Jubilee Road East.
The strengths of this site were identified as:
•Providing uninterrupted sport, recreation, and rehabilitation service during construction
•Accommodating parking development without structured parking
•Ability to accommodate childcare in future phases
Additionally, by building a new facility adjacent to the arena, the District can realize cost and operational savings and increased energy efficiencies by taking advantage of heat recapture technology; harvesting heat surplus from the arena to assist in heating the Recreation Centre.
Building a new facility adjacent to the Summerland Arena also helps create a sports and recreation “complex” with the Arena and Curling Club, helping families take part in multiple sports and activities at once in a centralized location.
How would the District address parking capacity at the proposed location?
If constructed, the Recreation Centre would be built on the south side of the Summerland Arena & Curling Club, which is currently used for parking. Therefore, new parking stalls would need to be added to the site in a different area of the property to accommodate public use of the sports and recreation “complex” facilities.
The District of Summerland owns the land located immediately behind Timber Mart. The land is currently being leased on a temporary, short-term basis to Timber Mart as a storage yard for loading and general operations. This land has been identified as an area to expand parking to meet existing arena and proposed Recreation Centre facility requirements (see image below).
Why build a new facility instead of renovating the Summerland Aquatic & Fitness Centre?
All major building mechanical, electrical and pool systems within the Summerland Aquatic & Fitness Centre have exceeded their expected usable life. Most of the building envelope is in poor condition with significant air and water leakage and potential for mold. The facility is consuming approximately 86% more energy per unit of floor area than the average swimming pool. The facility does not have modern fully accessible, universal, or family change rooms (some building adaptations have been made to address these needs, however, they are not ideal).
The facility is experiencing ongoing issues which include termites that compromise the structure of the building, ant and rodent infestations, leaking roof that requires major repair, hot tub failures, instability of main pool structure, and an inability to source facility replacement parts due to antiquated electrical, plumbing and pool systems.
The 2018 Facility Condition Assessment did review the option for building renovation; however, it was not recommended. The Report recommends rebuilding the facility on a new site and adding 50% to meet current and future demands and to address the physical and programmatic deficiencies without interruption of the current services to the community.
How was the size of the proposed Recreation Centre determined?
The size of the proposed facility – and the amenities within it – were determined based on Summerland’s growth in population since 1976 (which has nearly doubled), the amount and type of sport and recreation programming residents are seeking, and extensive public consultation that took place during the 2021 Needs Assessment. During the Needs Assessment, the community advocated for the minimum/priority (core) spaces in a new facility to include:
•6-lane, 25m lap pool
•universal change rooms
•multi-purpose fitness/activity classroom
•youth/family multi-purpose program room
•and access to a gymnasium
Other facility enhancements were explored, but were considered “secondary” priorities to the community, and therefore they were not included in the proposed project scope. These included: an eight-lane competition pool (additional two lanes), a child care centre, gymnasium, health centre, and tennis centre. Other ideas such as a walking track and additional programming spaces were not included to keep the size, scope and cost of the project lower.
For more information on the proposed Summerland Recreation Centre project and the upcoming referendum, please visit www.summerland.ca/recreationcentre.