Building a stronger Kelowna
As one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, Kelowna has a mounting need for recreation and leisure facilities. These facilities play an essential role in bringing people together as safe places for people of all ages and backgrounds to stay connected, be active, learn a new skill, and belong.
The City plays a key role in providing facilities and services for the health and well-being of residents and growing active amenities through multiple projects including:
- The redevelopment of Parkinson Recreation Centre and the surrounding park as a core recreation facility in central Kelowna
- Construction of new activity centres for all ages in Mission and Glenmore
- Optimization of sports fields in Rutland
- Community partnership opportunities with key partners such as Okanagan College and UBCO
|Latest update: On December 6, 2023, an announcement that the City of Kelowna will receive three grants through the provincial ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund totaling $25.1 million to add a total of 273 childcare spaces to future community, recreation and wellness facilities including Mission Activity Centre, Glenmore Activity Centre and at the future redevelopment of PRC. Learn more about the announcement here.
Project procurement - ongoing
To support the initiative, a series of Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued through the City’s procurement process from later 2023 to spring 2024 including architectural design services and general contracting for construction services to support an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach for the centres.
Share why active spaces are important to you:
These projects, collectively as part of efforts to build a stronger Kelowna will serve our community well by addressing aging recreation infrastructure, service needs, and equitable distribution of in-demand amenities throughout Kelowna. Engaging with the public throughout the planning and delivery of these spaces is a vital part of the process. Share why community, sport and wellness spaces are important to you to enter to win a stand-up paddleboard! Learn more about active and upcoming engagement opportunities anytime at getinvolved.kelowna.ca/activefacilities.
Redevelopment of Parkinson Recreation Centre
PRC is more than a building to so many people in our community – for decades, it’s been a place for people to move, grow, thrive, learn and belong. Investing in the redevelopment of PRC is in an investment in the wellbeing of our community for decades to come. Learn more about the PRC Redevelopment Project at getinvolved.kelowna.ca.
Originally constructed in 1972, PRC is a full-service, multi-use space that has undergone several upgrades and renovations through the years and is now reaching the end of its service life. The current facility is in poor condition, inefficient and undersized. The facility requires a multi-million-dollar investment to remain in service and analysis shows that developing a new recreation campus is a better strategic investment for Kelowna’s future than retrofitting and renovating the existing facility any further.
The surrounding neighbourhood is predicted to be one of the fastest growing in the city. In addition to the residential population, the Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC) will also serve one of the densest districts for employment in the city.
The central location and proximity to several urban centres and Okanagan Rail Trail are served well by many walking, cycling, and transit routes running through or near the site. Active transportation connections will be further enhanced with the Mill Creek Linear Park running through the site, Lawrence Avenue active transportation corridor (ATC) to downtown, the Sutherland Avenue ATC extension, and Glenmore Road active transportation improvements. The Rapid Transit and several other major bus routes are also immediately adjacent to the site.
The redevelopment of PRC has been identified as a priority in the 10-year Capital Plan for over a decade and is recognized as a unique opportunity for delivering a landmark wellness facility that will serve our community for generations. Take a look at what's to come:
PRC progress background:
- December 2023: Confirmation of successful Child Care grant, to include 91 child care spaces within the future redevelopment of PRC.
- November 2023: Project team procurement process begins.
- October 2023: Funding for the initiative is in place following the closure of the AAP
- July 2023: An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is launched, seeking funding approval for the Recreation and Activity Centres Loan Authorization Bylaw
- May 2023: Building a stronger Kelowna initiative and funding model is proposed including the redevelopment of PRC.
- April 2023: Council endorsement of the Functional Plan for the redevelopment of PRC
- April 2023: Council accepts the strategic planning framework outlined in Kelowna's Indoor Recreation Facilities Strategy
- 2022: Capital costing & detailed planning - Total project costs estimated established
- 2021: Functional Program Update - Capacity and usage requirements were identified
- 2015: Space Feasibility Study - Redevelopment options and building configuration were evaluated and identified
PRC’s scheduling and programming protocols are maximizing the use of the facility and are satisfying the needs of as many individuals and groups as possible. The addition of the new Parkinson Activity Centre (PAC) to the Parkinson site increased the appeal and profile of the Parkinson Recreation Campus to the extent that the combined facilities have enlarged PRC’s capture area such that it serves a number of regional sport, recreation and leisure needs. This expanded “draw” has elevated the number of Kelowna residents who patronize Parkinson Recreation Park’s combined facilities, thereby putting increased pressure on PRC’s facilities and programs. It was identified through an initial functional programming analysis that a future recreation facility at Parkinson Recreation Park should provide more programmable space to increase the user capacity beyond what is available in the existing facility.
- 2013: PRC Space Program Study - Program area spaces and configurations were identified
In May 2013, City Council received the Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Report outlining Kelowna’s sport and recreation facility requirements to 2031. The 18-month study was to result in a responsible and cost-effective development strategy that ensures the City’s sport and recreation facility portfolio is able to meet current and future community needs for the next two decades. Further, the strategic development of the required facilities was to conform to the vision, commitments, principles and strategic imperatives that guide the delivery of Kelowna’s parks, recreation and cultural services. The report’s evaluation analysis identified that the City’s top priority project should be the redevelopment of the Parkinson Recreation Campus.
- 2011: Infrastructure Planning Study - PRC redevelopment identified as the City's top priority project
The following guiding principles were established as the backbone for prioritizing program needs, informing site configuration and to be used as a barometer to measure success as the project progresses through design and construction through to operations:
1. People-focused amenities
- Focus on wellness and healthy living opportunities.
- Encourage multi-generational integration.
- Create a centre of excellence for health, recreation, culture and sport for all.
- Facilitate new sport tourism opportunities.
- Deliver a facility that demonstrates the City’s commitment to responding to climate change through leadership in sustainable design and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Optimize sustainable design using unique site opportunities while respecting the boundaries of the Mill Creek floodplain.
- Incorporates multi-modal transportation opportunities, including improving connectivity through enhancing trail networks, considering the proximity to transit routes.
- Create pedestrian campus feel, with safety and security in mind.
3. Good stewards of public resources
- Optimizing amenities and programming while being fiscally responsible and balancing cost containment.
- Demonstrate leadership in responsibly building a thriving community with healthy, engaged citizens of a global society.
- Minimize operation interruptions of existing sports fields and recreation centre.
- Maintain the integrity and contiguous nature of the sports fields.
4. Cultivate partnerships
- Optimize opportunities for partnership with SD23 on the adjacent property.
- Facilitate collaboration with other partners who share values and objectives.
- Engage with the Indigenous community for collaboration opportunities.
5. Innovative leadership
- Create a precedent-setting facility with respect to design and sustainability.
- Challenge expectations with bold innovation throughout the project.
- Foster community inclusivity, pride and ownership.
Council endorsed the Functional Program for the redevelopment of PRC on April 17, 2023.
As part of the redevelopment of the Parkinson Recreation Centre and Parkinson Recreation Park site, there are several important amenities that contribute to the overall user experience, including:
- Unique spaces for people of all ages and abilities to recreate and be ‘Active for Life’
- Social spaces which serve as the ‘community living room’ with sufficiently sized lobby and additional social spaces scattered throughout
- Integration with the outdoors to make full use of the park setting
- A kitchen for community programs, capable of supporting large-scale events
- Event-hosting support space capable of hosting indoor and outdoor tournaments
- Appropriately sized and equipped amenities (ie, gymnasia, pools) to accommodate competitive sports
- Space for swimming that: engages the needs of health and wellness users, recreational users and meets the standards for aquatic sports; has a strong focus on wellness amenities; has a pool that is appropriately sized and that can be flexible enough to provide different programming options
- Space focused on youth and space dedicated to childcare
Current facility components include a leisure pool, gymnasium, cardiovascular fitness and weight training rooms, multiple convertible program and activities rooms, a banquet room, offices and a lobby. External spaces immediately surrounding the facility are also frequently used by pop-up markets or events.
Outdoor amenity space includes a large number of sports fields, sport courts, playgrounds and track and field facilities.
Complimentary tenants, partner space or collaboration with adjacent landowner School District #23 will also be explored for the potential benefit of integrating education, recreation, health, and wellness opportunities in a campus to enhance the community of Kelowna and to optimize operations and revenue of the new facility.
Activity centres are important program sites that connect a neighbourhood through low-barrier, accessible programs and spaces. With the redevelopment of PRC serving as a core, future facility, helping to attract major events and tournaments to our city – neighbourhood activity centres, such as those proposed for Mission and Glenmore - serve an important role in providing space to connect, grow and thrive at the neighbourhood level.
During the Council review of the Indoor Recreation Facilities Strategy and 10-year Capital Plan Workshop (Buildings), advancing the planning and delivery of the Glenmore and Mission Activity Centres were identified as priorities. Currently, the City operates activity centres at Parkinson and Rutland parks. The new activity centres will feature a variety of general interest programs for all ages as well as a gathering place for celebrations. The activity centres will include childcare services if grant funding is approved.
Each of the two centres will feature 91 childcare spaces each with support through the provincial ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund.
Activity centres typically feature:
- Large program spaces: sprung floors, higher ceilings for dance, yoga, or gymnasium type sports.
- General program spaces: various sizes and finishes to accommodate a wider diversity of community programming
- Program support: including a kitchen for community events
- Support spaces: entrance, informal gathering, youth spaces, reception, admin and child care spaces.
Proposed as a priority in the 10-year Capital Plan, the optimization of future sports fields will take place at the site of Rutland Recreation Park, the home of the Rutland Activity Centre, Rutland Arena and the Rutland Family Y.
The optimization of sports fields in Rutland includes the consideration of a new grass field, with space for a potential second in the future, and converting the central field to artificial turf with lighting. This project responds to sports field capacity challenges. With planned, or existing artificial turf fields in Rutland, Mission, Glenmore and Central Kelowna - it will disperse these important all-season amenities across the city.
Community partnership opportunities
In recognition of aligned objectives to enhance community well-being and connection, exploring opportunities for collaborative development and shared use of facilities owned and operated by Okanagan College, University of British Columbia Okanagan, and Central Okanagan Public Schools (School District 23) leverages the utilization of collective amenities to provide the highest level of service to the overall community.
Through strategic investment, further exploration to partner with UBCO, Okanagan College and School District 23 to collaborate and potentially expand on planned facility projects will foster greater community involvement and connection on Kelowna’s post-secondary and general school sites.
A stronger Kelowna worth investing in
Community, sport and wellness facilities like recreation and activity centres belong to everyone in our community and offer safe places where everyone belongs. These facilities strive to be completely barrier-free and offer numerous benefits to users and non-users alike.
In addition to a focus on inclusion and community connection, all future facilities will be built sustainably. At PRC, for example, existing spaces are undersized for today’s demand, and do not meet current sustainability standards for a major recreation centre. The current building is also one of our top energy users and greenhouse gas emitters across City facilities. All facilities to be built as part of the building a stronger Kelowna initiative will aim to be net zero carbon facilities with the following guiding principles:
The financial strategy was developed to ensure property tax rates remain stable over the term of the project and do not negatively impact other planned projects. The strategy has incorporated all obligations and assumptions included in the 2023-2027 Five-Year Financial Plan and adjusted for the new project financing while maintaining that no projected year in the next five years will have a total tax rate increase of more than 5 per cent.
Community, sport and wellness facilities are vital to a healthy City by enabling and increasing participation in physical activity, cultural, social and creative pursuits that enhance individual and community wellbeing.
Parkinson Recreation Centre is showing its age and requires significant investment to keep it in use or to replace.
A feasibility study demonstrated that developing a new recreation campus is a much better strategic investment for Kelowna’s future than retrofitting and renovating the existing recreation centre facility. Existing spaces in the current PRC are undersized for today’s demand, and do not meet current standards for a major recreation centre. The current building is also one of our top energy users and greenhouse gas emitters across City facilities, building new allows the ability to rebuild as a net zero carbon facility. Building the new facility north of the creek allows for the building to be constructed safely without interfering with the existing facility operations, improves vehicle access in a congested part of the city and allows the facility to connect with the Apple Bowl, surrounding fields and new school site without being constrained by parking and the creek.
On October 16, 2023, Council adopted the Recreation and Activity Centres Loan Authorization Bylaw.
The funding model for this project has approved debt financing of $241.32 million with the remainder funded through a combination of reserve, grants, and taxation funding. The total City budget taxation increase is expected to remain in the 3.91% -4.83% range over the next five years.
|Parkinson rec park site work
|Activity centres for all ages in Glenmore and Mission
|Rutland recreation park optimization
|Partnership with UBCO & OC
|Childcare BC new spaces grant - 273 childcare spaces
Debt financing is considered an equitable and efficient funding source as it spreads payment, and the associated tax impacts, for a community amenity over the generations that will benefit, not relying on current residents to front the bulk of the costs. To fund the debt servicing costs of borrowing to support this initiative, the strategy uses reserve, grant, and taxation funding, as well as new revenues expected from the City’s legacy funds as part of the new endowment funding model.
Efforts to seek out offset opportunities will continue over the duration of the project including potential grants, alternative revenue streams and partnerships. As such, the project and borrowing amount is considered top limit and inclusive of projected growth, inflation, and interest rates.
By combining capital taxation funding, reserve applications, grant funding, and borrowing, we can ensure the financial sustainability of the project while also providing much-needed recreational opportunities for residents.
Over 1,300 resident contributions will help shape a shared vision and functional plan for the future Glenmore and Mission Activity Centres. Engagement spanned approximately four weeks in November and December 2023 and included a variety of options to provide input, with both online and in-person formats available for participation. Engagement included a focus on how residents see themselves using these future spaces, what perceived service gaps may exist in the area, and understanding what residents appreciate about their neighbourhood today.
Redevelopment of PRC:
As the redevelopment of PRC and development of a functional plan has been ongoing, engagement conducted to date is outlined below including a statistically valid survey conducted by Ipsos in 2021:
In addition, public and sector engagement was a key component of the development of the Indoor Recreation Facilities Strategy in 2022. The Indoor Recreation Facilities Strategy included city-wide public engagement is part of a series of strategic facility plans and frameworks helping the City to make informed decisions regarding new or renovated facilities. Kelowna’s Recreation Facilities are in different stages and ages of life, and by understanding the needs in the community paired with existing facility data of our recreation facilities – it helps to better prioritize and plan.
To learn about further public and interest group engagement on this project, or to stay up to date on the latest construction updates, sign up for the Building a Stronger Kelowna e-bulletin.
As part of plans to build a stronger Kelowna, we will be seeking to engage with the public, neighbourhood-area residents, partners, and special interest groups to help finalize plans for this initiative. Visit getinvolved.kelowna.ca/activefacilities for the latest engagement updates and opportunities.