Council has approved the guiding principles and functional program that will oversee the redevelopment of the Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC).
Originally built in 1972, the current facility is in poor condition, inefficient and undersized. Proposed new spaces include a competition gym, two recreation gyms, a fitness centre, an eight-lane, 25-metre pool, and community rooms.
The PRC redevelopment is identified in the 10-year capital plan and is recognized as a unique opportunity for delivering a landmark wellness facility to serve the community for generations.
An engagement study by RC Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in recreation and parks planning, provided council with information regarding support for the project.
The engagement study involved a public telephone survey by Ipsos, five discussion sessions with 13 stakeholder groups, an online group survey, and a review of the city’s Cultural Facilities Master Plan.
“What we found from our engagement is there is support for investment in the PRC,” said Mike Roma, RC Strategies partner. “That there is demand for existing spaces and activities that are offered in the facility, and expected growth associated with those. There is also the intent from most of those user groups that we spoke to, to expand their program offerings and do more than they currently can do with the existing facility.”
“We have an opportunity to create a facility that can be a beacon in terms of inclusion, sport, tourism, sustainability, and wellness, not just in the province but across the country,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “When you look at how long this facility has served our community, I know we’re going to get push back to say ‘just build a facility that is good enough for today.’ But we can’t. Because we can’t open a facility that tomorrow is going to be too small.”
City staff told council an application for a $12.5 million federal grant for the project is on file with the federal government.
The plan would see Parkinson Rec expand to 136,648 square feet from its current 51,871 square feet. The report to council indicates that although it will cost more to operate a new facility, revenue opportunities created by new facility components would likely bring those costs in line with the operating costs of the existing rec centre.
The new project has been given the working title of Kelowna Community Campus.
The next steps include design and public engagement, and cost estimates.