A part of Vernon’s history is being dug up this week, ready to be replaced with a new modern facility.
The Peanut Pool at Lakeview Park is being shelled. As in demolished.
“Work began on the weekend,” said Doug Ross, director of recreation services for the city.
The pool, first opened to the public in 1958 and resembling a peanut, has been a community staple each summer, providing families with a location to gather with friends and to cool off on hot Okanagan summer days.
That didn’t happen this year as the pool was closed to prepare the site for construction of a new pool, slated to open on time in the summer of 2023. Construction was delayed until late August for a variety of reasons, including the city going through the proper channels with its permitting process.
The new $3.3 million pool and spray park will be C-shaped, but the original peanut will be incorporated into the design plan.
“The C-shape provides a clear separation between parent and toddler play area from the area more suited for swim lessons and youth play,” said Gary Lefebvre, city aquatics manager, to Vernon council in May.
“The original peanut pool is acknowledged in the groundscape that basically captures the footprint of the original peanut pool in the concrete design. There’s even talk of putting a small tile detail within the pool body itself to continue those lines through the body of the pool so people can see where the original peanut pool was.”
The Lakeview Wading Pool will have a zero-depth, beach entry and varying depths of water to meet the needs of a variety of pool users. Those in wheelchairs can access the pool and can even float out of their chairs at the pool’s deepest part and enjoy the buoyancy. It will be heated with high-efficiency boilers to accommodate infant and preschool swim lessons.
The washrooms and change rooms will be universal/single-user stalls located centrally that can be accessed by both pool and park users. The spray park will be located between the swimming pool and the existing picnic shelter and playground, giving parents a clear view of all three play areas.
The spray park has been designed so that the area can be enjoyed in the early spring or late fall when the spray features are not yet in operation.
The wading pool will have a small waterfall and the bigger part of the pool, for older kids, will include a basketball net.
Vernon council will get a progress update on the new facility at its next regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 6.