Okanagan’s oldest arena decommissioning begins

Vernon Civic Arena, which turned 80 in January, is slated for demolition

The official phasing out of a huge part of Vernon’s history has begun.

Some demolition of the Vernon Civic Arena has commenced as residents will notice fencing all around the facility on 37th Avenue, which turned 80 in January.

“As part of the decommissioning we have removed all of the ammonia from the facility, the boards and score clock are being repurposed and we have removed memorabilia and some equipment,” said Doug Ross, City of Vernon director of recreation services.

“The actual timing of the demolition will depend on the contractor and the progress they make.”

RELATED: Civic Arena to be demolished

Asked about one of the Civic Arena’s most identifiable features, the amazing wood rafters making up the ceiling inside the facility, Ross said: “The city has requested that we retain some of the wood to be re-used for some unidentified purposes. We have some ideas, but will need to wait and see what condition the wood is actually in.”

The facility hosted one last event in January, a retro-style B.C. Hockey League game between the Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings, which drew a sold-out crowd as patrons came to say goodbye to the ancient building, and reminisce over hockey and lacrosse games, Boy Scout jamborees, concerts and high school graduation ceremonies held at Civic Arena.

RELATED: Civic Arena has played host to Vernon’s history

After reviewing numerous options, the city decided in November 2017 to pursue demolition of the Civic Arena, the oldest such facility in the Okanagan which opened in 1938.

The move came after council received a structural building assessment and cost estimates associated with reusing the building.

Reports indicated that bringing the building into compliance with the Building Code to a basic shell building would be an estimated $11-12 million. New construction for the same basic shell facility would be $8-9 million. The estimates did not include any interior finishing or upgrades related to a future use.

Discussions about the future of the Civic Arena were sparked by the new ice surface expansion at Kal Tire Place, with the second arena, Kal Tire Place North, officially opening over the weekend.

Once completed, the Civic Arena would no longer be used as an ice surface.

The Civic Arena hosted the 1956 Allan Cup Canadian Senior Hockey Championship (won in five games by the hometown Vernon Canadians), the 1978 Canadian Senior B Lacrosse Championships (won by the hometown Vernon Tigers) and the 1990 Centennial Cup Canadian Junior A Hockey Championship (won 6-5 in overtime by the hometown Vernon Lakers over the New Westminster Royals).

N0thing has been determined as to what will go on the site once the Civic Arena is demolished.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Supercar ride-alongs donated off by Kelowna dealership for local charity

Put on by August Motorcars, donations were collected for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association

Chefs in the Classroom Initiative Set to Grow Thanks to Generous Support

The initiative teaches young children how to grow, cook and eat local foods

Chart-Topping Singer-Songwriter Leeroy Stagger to play Kelowna in November

Stagger will be playing songs off his new album “Strange Path”

My Fit Life Now aims to make a healthier Kelowna with donation to Okanagan Boys and Girls Club

The company will donate 100 per cent of their new sales in November

Christian based stage-play Solitary Refinement makes its way to Lake Country on national tour

The play sponsored by Voice of the Martyrs Canada focuses on Christian prosecution around the world

Election 2019: Silverado Socrates — independent candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country

Silverado Socrates is running as an independent candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Boats once plied Okanagan Lake

Lake was used as transportation corridor connecting communities in the valley

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Most Read