Procreation of permanent recreation

The DOV plans to renovate the former Integris building so it can house the recreation department.

The former Integris Credit Union building will soon be renovated and will house the District of Vanderhoof's recreation department.

The District of Vanderhoof has purchased the former Integris Credit Union (ICU) building which will soon house the municipality’s recreation department.

“In the past one of our biggest issues with running recreational programs was a permanent home… this building means a new face for recreation in the community,” Tom Clement, director of community development, said.

The building, located on the corner of Columbia Street and Church Avenue, was purchased for $225,000 by the DOV – original asking price upwards of $500,000. The DOV got a substantial discount due to the Credit Union’s commitment to economic development in the community and a want for naming rights.

“We are thrilled to partner with the District to establish a permanent recreation centre in Vanderhoof,” David Bird, President & CEO of Integris Credit Union, said in an email. “This development demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our region and the people of Vanderhoof while enabling the District to deliver a rich recreational experience for all who live and visit here.”

A name for the building has not yet been solidified however, Integris made 10-year naming rights as part of the sale so the name will likely start with Integris. 

The DOV has a full renovation planned at a cost of about $360,000. The Nechako Kitimat Development Fund has donated $110,000 and the Northern Development Initiative Trust has given the remaining $250,000 toward the Recreation Centre Project.

“It fits within our mandate to fund economic development projects. This was in the infrastructure category, specifically the quality of life. This supports the growth of Vanderhoof and creates an attraction for newcomers as well as keeping workers and professionals in the community that are already working there,” Dan Boudreau, manager of NKDF, said.

An architect is currently working on the buildings design layout and the DOV hopes to have the renovation begin by the start of June and complete by the end of October.

The spot will become a permanent base for the DOV’s recreation programs currently run by the YMCA are operating from a temporary space in the Vanderhoof Gospel Chapel. There may also be room for other community groups in the space but, that will be discussed by council at another time, Vanderhoof mayor Gerry Thiessen said.

“This will be a centre point for recreation and community events and will really build capacity in our community. We haven’t gone through the design entirely but this was an opportunity we were able to get ahold of and we’re really excited about what we’ll be able to see happen at this location,” Thiessen said.