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Richmond Olympic Oval to get another $2.4 million in upgrades

The climbing wall is among the completed legacy projects at the Richmond Olympic Oval. - file photo
The climbing wall is among the completed legacy projects at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
— image credit: file photo

Richmond Olympic Oval officials are planning another $2.4 million in upgrades to the River Road facility, including an expansion of the fitness floor and a new retail area.

City council gave its endorsement Tuesday of the remaining "legacy conversion projects," which have already been approved by the oval's board.

Locker room improvements, a personal training room and new children's play equipment are also part of the plan.

Part of the cash is coming from what's left in a $24.3-million council-approved account to pay for extras needed to convert a speed skating facility into a multipurpose sport and wellness centre. Remaining funds are coming from the Richmond Olympic Oval Corporation's reserve accounts.

The most costly upgrade, at $1.78 million, is widening the mezzanine. The project would add 4,100 square feet to the fitness floor, while improving the functionality of a fitness room below, according to a staff report from Jim Young, the city's acting senior manager of project development.

"Space in the oval for user courses and operational programs is at a premium and this challenge is particularly acute on the mezzanine level."

A $325,000 retail space is anticipated to sell merchandise from the oval and other partner organizations, along with hygiene products and sporting goods. For $175,000, a new personal training and group fitness space will be created in an existing unoccupied room, while another $100,000 is earmarked for improving public locker rooms. Children's play equipment will get a $50,000 boost, for use in programs in the coming year.

The new projects are expected to be completed in 2013.

Although the majority of cash flowing into the Richmond Olympic Oval comes from memberships, admission fees and programs—$4.8 million is anticipated this year—taxpayers are also contributing. In 2012, the city granted the oval a subsidy of $3.1 million. The 2010 Games Operating Trust Fund provided another $2.5 million.

Oval legacy projects

•Completed: partitions and curtains, legacy suite upgrades, two new team rooms, protective covering for sport surface, parking upgrades, exterior video sign, batting cages, food service space and climbing wall

•In progress: event seating, Richmond Olympic Experience (museum), interior display screen, indoor display and theatre-style seats

•New projects: mezzanine widening, retail area, personal training/group fitness room, locker room upgrades, children’s play equipment

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