The city wants to gauge public feedback on long-term ideas for the Tournament Capital Centre.
City staff hosted media at the McGill Road facility on Thursday to provide an update on upcoming renovations and pave the way for other potential improvements to the facility that could be made in the coming years.
City community and protective services director Byron McCorkell said the facility was first planned for 600 annual memberships by high-performance and competitive athletes.
It now sees between 1,600 to 2,000 daily visitors, most of whom — about 70 per cent — are average-Joe athletes who use the track and pool.
The facility has grown, due in part to growth of Thompson Rivers university, and McCorkell said 1,000 more bedrooms expected in the area as a result of development will only make the facility busier.
“Let’s talk about it now,” McCorkell said, noting he wants to engage residents and user groups in the conversation about growing the facility.
At least $12 million worth of renovations are already on the books for the Tournament Capital Centre, most of which ($9 million) will be for the Canada Games Pool, which was built in 1993 and needs siding, roofing, HVAC, electrical and mechanical infrastructure directly due to the facility’s age. Those renovations are slated to begin in late 2020.
At that time, however, the city could also install a dive tank, relocate the change rooms and multi-purpose rooms, add a second-level entry and enclose the breezeway to improve energy efficiency. The city proposes filling in a plaza between the pool and fieldhouse, which could provide meeting spaces and free up rooms in the fitness area to expand the gym.
City of Kamloops capital projects manager Darren Crundwell explained to KTW that once the city starts tearing things up, it creates an optimal opportunity to start discussing future needs.
“We know we have a major project regardless. It’s not up for discussion,” Crundwell said. “We have to get in there and do some of these replacements, but there is opportunities when we’re in there and doing that, we can definitely make some improvements to the facility.”
The Canada Games Pool repairs will not begin until late 2020 — after the 55+ Games — with potential impacts during construction related to pool closures, reduced parking and noise in other areas of the TCC.
While KTW was previously told the pool could be closed for between six months to one year, McCorkell said that won’t be known until needs of the roof are made more clear. He stressed the city will do what it can to mitigate impacts on users, including the potential for rolling closures.
However, he said “we need to be prepared that things might go sideways.”
Meanwhile, about $2.5 million worth of updates and replacements will take place this year and next year at Hillside Stadium, from lighting, to sound, scoreboard, media booth roof and HVAC and replacement of the artificial turf and track surface. That brings the conversation back toward building a covered dome. Should that project rear its head down the road, McCorkell said the track could possibly have to be ripped up.
“All these projects are starting to align with one another,” he said.
As for the TCC Fieldhouse, the city will be spending $400,000 to update lighting to LED, line markings on the track, resurface the hardwood courts in 2019, followed with a PA system in 2020. Scheduled construction this year is anticipated during annual maintenance shutdown in August. McCorkell said the city could mitigate impacts on track users when those renovations happen by covering the outdoor track.
All of the planned renovations are in the city’s budget, though none of the ideas have any budgets or timelines.
The city is seeking public feedback online at letstalk.kamloops.ca/tcc. Users can expect updates about future impacts.