Give Civic Arena new lease on life

It's time Vernon. Let's start thinking outside of the box. This is my idea to start things off.

Vernon needs a new sheet of ice. There will be a referendum to come this November.

Why not renovate Civic Arena as follows:

1. Remove the roof (probably for free as the lumber in the trusses is very valuable). All clear wood that is in those trusses has been logged years ago.

2. Gut the inside.

3. Build a proper ice sheet with about 500 seats for minor hockey.

4. Erect a building on top of the ice rink to house the museum and art gallery.

Before rejecting the idea out of hand, think about it:

  • The cement walls are about 12 to 15 feet thick, an ideal footing for a building.
  • All servicing is in place (ie. hydro, gas and water).
  • Economy of scale for heat, cooling, sewer and water.
  • No land cost to acquire property for the arts or a new ice rink.
  • Demolition cost of old Civic Arena would be anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million (close to what the land value it is presently sitting on).
  • Parking is in place. Daytime parking for art gallery and museum, night parking for minor hockey (some conflicts may occur).
  • Art gallery and museum may be able to share a staff person (receptionist perhaps) to save on operating costs.
  • Located next to the new tourist booth. Could create more tourism traffic for the arts.
  • Save site servicing costs for the new buildings, say a $1 million saving (hydro, gas, water and sewer, roads, parking, sidewalks, curbing, etc.).

Before any costings are considered, the concept would need to be supported by the community at large.

Phone the mayor's secretary to register your approval, 250-545-1361, or e-mail mayor@vernon.ca.

Get involved Vernon. it's time to get our politicians and bureaucrats to think outside of the box.

Patrick Nicol was an ardent supporter of both minor sports and the arts in Vernon. Let's call the renewed arena, Patrick Nicol Place.

P. J. Lett



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