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Summerland residents get clear question on recreation centre referendum

Community will be asked to support borrowing of up to $50 million for new facility

The wording has been determined for a referendum on a new recreation centre for Summerland.

At the council meeting on Aug. 8, Summerland council approved the wording of the question for the fall referendum, which is needed to determine support for replacing the aging facility.

The question, subject to provincial approval, will read, “Do you support the Corporation of the District of Summerland borrowing up to $50 million with interest, over a period not exceeding 30 years, in order to finance the construction of a new recreation centre to be located at 8820 Jubilee Rd. E., by way of Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 2023-016?”

If the referendum passes, the borrowing will be paid through property taxes and parcel taxes.

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In addition, the municipality is working on a communications plan to present information on the proposed recreation centre. The communications plan will include social media posts, weekly media releases and video clips.

The replacement of the recreation centre has been identified as a priority by council.

The existing building is 47 years old and is at the end of its serviceable life, which was confirmed by the 2018 Facility Condition Assessment Report. The report states the mechanical, electrical and pool systems in the building have already exceeded their useful life. In addition, the building is in poor condition, with air and water leakage and the potential for mould.

The present building uses around 86 per cent more energy per unit of floor area than the average swimming pool. The facility also does not have fully accessible, universal, family or gender-neutral change rooms.

The referendum will be held this fall. If it passes, the design work will be completed in 2024 and construction work will begin at that time. The targeted completion date is 2026.

The site for the replacement pool is in front of the Summerland Arena and Summerland Curling Club. This location was selected in March 2022.

The new facility is proposed to be 60 per cent larger than the existing Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre on Kelly Avenue.

The municipality has information on the project posted on its website at

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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