It’s like a very big puzzle.
Does this coin go here? Can it go here? It’s too big, it won’t work here.
Vernon Council received a report on a test fit of equipment requested for the proposed sports park on the former Kin Racecourse site at their regular meeting on Monday 28th February.
The fit test may have included the active living center (swimming pool with two gymnasiums); synthetic pitches; sports fields for spring, summer and fall, frozen in winter for outdoor skating; bullet diamonds; walking trails, dog park; BX stream crossing; access to Old Kamloops Road; car park; and smaller features like a playground and water play area.
“The fit test also includes a ‘boardwalk’ that provides pedestrian access through the park and access for emergency vehicles or event hosting,” said Laurie Cordell, planning and operations manager. Vernon’s long-term durability.
In his report to the board, Cordell expressed a dozen items for the board to consider.
Notably absent from the test fit plan is a requested 100,000 square foot covered lot house. It doesn’t fit with other requested components and required parking, said Cordell, who suggested the possibility of adding a third gymnasium to the active living center, rather than a stand-alone country lodge.
“The third gymnasium could be designed with functional walls to make the flow between the indoor and outdoor courts smooth and have an adaptable floor to allow for markets as well as a variety of sporting uses,” she said.
The two recommended ball diamonds would replace the existing four fields used by minor softball and women’s slo-pitch. The fit test shows ball diamonds that are sized for minor baseball.
This was done following a review of the Park Master Plan and Recreation Master Plan which indicate an adequate supply of pitches, but identify that there may be a potential future need for midget or minor baseball diamonds. .
“We could consider placing these two diamonds in Polson Park. They would fit perfectly inside the oval,” Coun said. Akbal Mund.
The two synthetic pitches – which the council tries hard not to refer to as “soccer pitches”, given the handful of football pitches at Marshall Field – leave no space for rest areas or for a team to hang out. gathers next to the field. The proposed location in the trial fit has a high water table and would require a large amount of gravel to prevent freeze-thaw cycles that can damage the field.
The natural wetlands in the middle of the site were included in the initial staff plan and solved the storm water issues. The area is now required for other amenities as per council guidelines.
A small skate park – or maybe two of them – can fit on the site.
The park could accommodate outdoor events and concerts by adding an event feed location or having a portable stage.
Parking remains a piece of the puzzle that has yet to find a home.
Cordell said the parking requirements for the proposed uses in the park are adequate, but take up considerable space.
Mayor Victor Cumming asked staff to look at possible parking solutions along Old Kamloops Road as well as a bike path, and council. Kari Gares asked staff to review the design and costs of a proposed surface car park below the Active Living Center which would free up space. Both motions were seconded unanimously.
As things stand, Cordell said the high costs for a fleet with all those components would likely be in the $40 million range, and annual maintenance would be around $415,000.
The parking reports and a concept plan for public engagement are scheduled to be presented to council on April 25.