City council has approved the new Kelowna Community Campus (KCC) addition to Parkinson Recreation Park (PRP) for next to the Apple Bowl.
Council was unanimous in choosing what’s being called the “co-located campus model. However, there were concerns raised over ease of vehicle access to the site, increased traffic, onsite parking, and walk times from parking lots to the KCC.
“I’m very happy to see the additional parking that was proposed,” said Councillor Luke Stack. “Some additional parking beside the field in the northeast corner (PRP), as well as close to Parkinson.”
A staff presentation to council stated 35 per cent of parking will be within a one-minute walk to the new KCC, and 90 per cent will be within two-and-a-half minutes. It also suggested that as onsite parking neared capacity, recreation users could be advised through signage on Spall Road or through a parking app to indicate the best area to park. The staff report stated the “co-located campus model” is the best option as it allows the existing Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC) to operate, and parking to continue uninterrupted during construction. The report indicated that the new facility is more centrally located, with main entrances off Burtch Road and Spall Road.
Several councillors commented that their trip last month to visit similar facilities on the Lower Mainland helped them to make up their minds about the recommended site for the new KCC.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for us to create something extremely special here,” said Councillor Gail Given. “I am very supportive of us moving in this direction.”
The project creates a shared campus of buildings within PRPark, and groups it with the PRC, the Apple Bowl, and a planned new school. It would also allow programming to expand into the park.
“I’m really pleased to see this connection to outdoor space,” said Councillor Loyal Wooldridge. “It’s going to maximize the programming at all times of the day by having outdoor change rooms as well as the possibility of connecting to the school.”
Wooldridge was also pleased to see an adaptation to the parking requirements.
“I think council was clear on ensuring there was accessible parking for families and those with disabilities. I’m pretty confident that with our parking team we can address any potential issues. I think we’re on a strong path forward, and the Vancouver trip for me really opened my eyes to the possibilities of the site.”
Council has also directed staff to start the design process for the KCC based on the co-located campus model.