No lifeguards for upgraded CNR Wharf

The first phase of upgrades to CNR Wharf will include a diving platform, slide and water zipline, but it won't include lifeguards.

The first phase of upgrades to CNR Wharf will include a springboard, diving platform, slide and water zipline, but it won’t include lifeguards.

West Kelowna council discussed CNR Wharf first phase design considerations at its meeting Tuesday.

Previously, council had asked staff to bring back information regarding the costs associated with providing lifeguards.

If the district were to include lifeguard supervision, it would likely come at an annual cost of $70,000, plus a capital cost of $25,000 to accommodate lifesaving equipment, explained director of development services Nancy Henderson.

One of the reasons for the consideration of lifeguards was due to an initially proposed five-metre high diving platform.

The Lifesaving Society of BC suggests any diving platform over three metres should only be open for use when a lifeguard is on duty.

“The chance of risk and injury increases exponentially when you’re getting into that type of height,” said Henderson.

Council voted to remove the five-metre diving platform from the scope of the design; there will still be a three-metre platform constructed.

Instead, council may consider a Parks Ambassador Program in the future, which is currently a service provided by the City of Kelowna. Park ambassadors are summer student positions that involve keeping the beaches clean, educating park users on existing bylaws and promoting public safety.

Council initially budgeted $543,000 for the first phase of upgrades; however, the budget was increased by $104,950 Tuesday due to an unanticipated cost of drilling the pilings into bedrock.

“The sediment above the bedrock is not sufficient enough to use standard piling techniques,” said Henderson.

The second phase of improvements is expected to cost $1.5 million and will include an entry plaza with signage, seating, a refreshment kiosk, bike parking, formalized planting areas and a boardwalk connection.

The phase one project will go out for tender this fall with a construction completion date of spring 2014.

Twitter: @PatersonWade


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