Active Living Centre - More public input being collected

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That is the call to action for more public input on the proposed Greater Vernon Active Living Centre.

The Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan, completed in 2018, identified a number of indoor recreational space needs and priorities that should be explored in order to further enhance residents’ access to active living opportunities and overall wellness. These space priorities, identified through engagement with the community, included: a desire for expanded aquatics; a fitness centre; gymnasium(s); indoor walking/running track; and spaces that can support multi-purpose programming.

Building on the recommendations endorsed in the Recreation Master Plan, the Greater Vernon Recreation Services partners (City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, Electoral Area B, and Electoral Area C) have undertaken a feasibility study to explore the potential options, associated costs, and benefits of developing a new Greater Vernon Active Living Centre and proposed upgrades to the Vernon Aquatic Centre. A number of conceptual options and amenities for a new Greater Vernon Active Living Centre have been identified and are being considered.

“To help inform and guide the refinement of the potential options and amenities it is very important to get more feedback from Greater Vernon residents,” said Doug Ross, Director, Recreation Services.

In order to get that feedback, two different surveys are being conducted during the month of March. The first is a controlled mail out survey sent to 5,000 random homes in the Greater Vernon area. Homeowners are provided with a unique access code to ensure the survey is only filled out once.

“These mail outs are already hitting mailboxes and over 200 people have already completed their surveys,” said Ross. If enough surveys are received, this will provide statistically valid data for the feasibility study team, consultants and the elected officials. “When the Recreation Master Plan was conducted in 2018, over 1,500 surveys were returned. We are hoping to surpass that number with this survey,” said Ross.

The second survey will be an open online survey that will be available starting March 16, 2020.  “Using both of these survey methods provides us with the statistically valid data we need and also provides all the citizens of Greater Vernon an opportunity to make their feelings known,” said Ross. 

All of the feedback will be taken into consideration when decisions are being made. For those people who do not have access to a computer, paper copies will also be made available. The surveys will remain open until March 30, 2020.

The surveys ask questions about the type of aquatics facilities the community is looking for, where individuals think the facilities should be located and whether one or two facilities should be operated.

“Because we need to plan facilities that the community wants, but can also afford, the surveys ask if community members are willing to fund the development and operation of the facilities through a tax increase, and if so, how much of an increase. This is an opportunity for people to help shape the future of recreation in Greater Vernon for years to come,” said Ross.

For more information about the 2018 Recreation Master Plan, the Active Living Centre Feasibility Study and to access the open online survey after March 16, please visit: www.gvrec.ca and follow the link to the Active Living Centre. After completing the survey, members of the public can enter a draw to win one of two $50 Rec Bucks gift certificates.

If anyone has questions about the feasibility study, the proposed facilities or the surveys, they can also speak to a Feasibility Study Committee member by dropping in to one of the upcoming pop up events:

Thursday, March 12, 5:00-7:00 pm at BX Elementary School

Saturday, March 14, 10:00am-5:00 pm at the Community Expo at Kal Tire Place.

Saturday, March 28, 10:00am-5:00 pm at the Vernon Home Show at Kal Tire Place

Sunday, March 29, 10:00am-4:00 pm at the Vernon Home Show at Kal Tire Place