WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING


Date: October 15, 2012   Location: Park District Conference Room

Time: 6:30 pm

Attendance: Commissioners:  Murdock; Shelley; Crowley; Brault; Benz
      
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Groves; Wilson; Heafey; Eppelheimer; Specht; Bowen
Visitors: See attached sheet
     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager’s Reports
     a. Lakefront
     b. Recreation Programming
     c. Community Recreation Center/Mallinckrodt
6) Proposed FY 2013 Lakefront Budget
7) Proposed FY 2013 Recreation Budget
8) Old Business
      Platform Tennis Presentations
           7:00 p.m.  -  PPK Architects
           7:45 p.m.  -  Robert Juris & Associates
           8:30 p.m.  -  Williams Architects
           9:15 p.m.  -  H. Gary Frank Architects
9) New Business
10) Adjournment

Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The Committee reviewed the minutes of September 24, 2012 and approved them by general consent.

2) There was no Communications or Correspondence.

3) Under Recognition of Visitors, Commissioner Murdock recognized Peter Baugher who thanked the Park District for cleaning out the undergrowth and non-native plants at Langdon Park. He asked when the Park District would be planting the dunes grasses discussed in the spring. Superintendent Lambrecht replied they are on order and will be planted as soon as received. Mr. Baugher also asked that more than one line of snow fence be installed before winter to stop the sand migration onto the private properties. Superintendent Lambrecht replied they were discussing installing three rows of snow fence which would happen most likely after Halloween.

4) Under Manager’s Reports, Holly Specht reported the sailing beach closed for the year. Staff has called the boat owners who still have boats left but who did not pay for winter storage. The beach house has been closed and winterized. Lakeview rentals are busy.
 Carol Heafey reported that the Daddy/Daughter event had 104 in attendance. Staff is already working on the next one scheduled for February. There is a Mom and Son event scheduled on November 10. Halloween Happening planning is underway and the event will be held on Friday, October 26. Fall soccer is winding down. An e-mail was sent to current participants inviting them to sign up now for Spring soccer. To date, 41 participants have signed up. The Wilmette Children’s Theatre is currently presenting The Little Mermaid.

Jeff Groves reported he has hired Julie Mantice as the new Center Fitness Club manager. She is very excited about the job and has many new ideas. The theme for the haunted theater at Halloween Happening will be Camp Booville. Mike Kharpak has hired a new coach for the girls’ team and her name is Danielle Hoy.

5) Superintendent Bingham reported that the Lakefront budget includes the standardized increases as approved by the Financial Planning Committee. Fee increases above the norm were 2.5% for winter storage at the Sailing Beach. The Committee discussed the daily parking fees for the beach. Staff stated that they control the number of daily parking passes sold on weekends to ensure there will be room for season passholders. After discussion, the Committee approved daily parking fees of $10 weekdays for residents and $12 for non-residents. On weekends they will be $12 for residents and $15 for non-residents. After further discussion, the Committee voted unanimously to recommend the budget to the Park Board with the fee changes.

6) The Committee reviewed the proposed Recreation budget. This year’s budget will reflect a change made in the program sessions in that the two weeks will end in the 2013 budget. This year’s total includes 44 weeks of programs and the year 2013 will have 46 weeks. There was a dramatic drop in dance registrations this year, but staff anticipates those programs will rebound in a couple of years. There have also been some changes in the Performing Arts department in regard play selections. In addition, the adult theater will be reduced to two performances and the Children’s Theater will have one more performance in 2013. Commissioner Murdock asked what happened to the Debt Certificate payment. Superintendent Eppelheimer replied that it is reflected as an overhead transfer in the proposed budget.

 Commissioner Murdock asked how the fitness center was doing. Superintendent Bingham replied that there have been some successes and some failures. This past year personal training and Camp Fusion exploded. In regards to memberships, residents are up and non-residents are down. Commissioner Shelly asked if more trainers have been added since it is doing so well. Staff replied there had been some additions. Commissioner Murdock asked if the overhead transfers being based on square footage is the correct way of handling that.

 Commissioner Murdock asked why the fees for the Eagles tackle football program were going up to $65. Staff replied that the increased fee reflects more equipment being provided. The cost for travel football is up due to increased field-use fees at New Trier. Commissioner Murdock asked if the increased fees would affect participation. Ms. Heafey replied that staff is not concerned at this time but there is more of a focus on concussions right now which is spreading nationally and which could hurt participation numbers. Superintendent Bingham reported field rental fees charged to outside groups is being increased from $20/game to $25/game. They will also be assessed a $500 layout fee at the beginning of each season. Commissioner Brault asked what we charge Wilmette Baseball. Staff replied we pay Wilmette Baseball for infield maintenance which they contract for. Commissioner Brault asked if we could allow them to contract striping as well. Staff said they could review it but then we would lose control over the way the fields are laid out and what they use to stripe them.

 Commissioner Murdock asked about the reduced revenues in Dance programs. Superintendent Bingham replied there had been some loss as a result of a former teacher taking Park District class lists and marketing herself to the users. This has happened before and it takes a couple of years for participation to increase back to the previous levels as new participants start enrolling in our program.

 Commissioner Shelly asked why field hockey was being discontinued. Staff replied that the vendor who had been running the program was no longer going to offer it. Also, far more users are participating in Lacrosse now. However, staff will be revisiting this topic next year.

 After further discussion, Commissioner Murdock moved to recommend the budget as submitted with minor changes. It was seconded by Commissioner Crowley and approved by general consent.

7) The Committee began interviews of designers for the Platform Tennis facility to be located at West Park.
 
     a. PPK Architects – David Kennedy, Eric Lucasik, Steve Tripahn (W-T Engineers) and Design Perspectives (landscape architects).

Each person provided a brief background. Mr. Kennedy showed a list of recent projects including the Glen Ellyn Park District Platform Tennis facility. They designed the warming hut and added two more courts to the two that had already existed. However, they were restrained because of changes in the Park Board during the design process. They also found shortfalls with the final design that they would correct in the future. The process would begin with a thorough site analysis followed by a program analysis. The site lines for six courts would be difficult and believe that the budget the Park District has established is reasonable. Commissioner Murdock asked what changes they would make to Glen Ellyn if they had to do it all over. Mr. Kennedy replied they would upgrade the finishes. Basically, Glen Ellyn was a mix of donated and inexpensive products – perhaps even a vestibule. They had no kitchen facilities even to handle simple catering. It also makes sense to build a partial basement to move all of the mechanicals out of the way thus allowing more viewing areas.

They then presented three concepts and the Committee provided pros and cons for each of concept. Mr. Kennedy stated they prefer not to do these types of submittals when there had not been any real input from the Board or staff other than the program they received. The Committee thanked the group for their presentation.

     b. Robert Juris & Associates – Robert Juris represented his firm. Steve Tripahn once again represented W-T Engineering as a consultant.

Mr. Juris gave an overview of his company and a brief biography. His firm has done a lot of park district work in the past. The project most similar to this would be the clubhouse they designed for the Carol Stream Mini-Golf facility which is a similar-sized facility. Commissioner Murdock asked what percentage of their work is Park District related. Mr. Juris replied 10% to 20%. He also asked if he had ever designed a platform facility and Mr. Juris replied no. Mr. Tripahn added he has been researching alternative heating systems for the courts that might be more energy efficient.  Mr. Juris also added that he would expect a lot of input from staff and the Park Board. They take all areas into consideration such as building codes, energy conservation, ADA and design elements for the interior and exterior. Mr. Tripahn added they would take into consideration building loads when calculating heating and cooling. Currently, they anticipate about 64 people. Commissioner Shelly stated you would have to count on six courts times four people on a court times two for turnover and some viewers so that is probably about right. Mr. Juris added that this would be an assembly-occupancy so very specific codes have to come into play. He did not want to spend time on designs until he received specific input. Commissioner Murdock asked if he had visited the site and Mr. Juris replied he had not. He came up with one concept but it encroaches into the water main easement. The Committee thanked Mr. Juris for his presentation.

     c. Williams Architects: Tom LaLonde, Principal; Steve Mihelich, conceptual design and Dave Olson, President of WB Olson and doing construction cost analysis. W-T Engineering would perform engineering consulting.

Mr. LaLonde introduced those in attendance. He provided an overview of Williams and their history in designing public spaces for over 30 years. WB Olson was been brought in to perform independent cost analysis of the project and value engineered the work during the design phase. All of the groups have a long history of working with the Wilmette Park District. Mr. Mihelich gave an overview of what they had found on site during their visits. The site presents challenges with the maintenance facility a fixed point on the south and the water main easement on the north. Parking and access is something that needs to be addressed. Their design incorporates a boardwalk to cross the easement to facilitate ADA access.  Mr. LaLonde added they had designed the warming hut at the Hinsdale Park District and have some experience. However, each location is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Commissioner Murdock asked if they had considered using the maintenance facility parking for the platform facility. Mr. LaLonde stated that they assumed it would continue to be used by staff at that facility. Superintendent Lambrecht added that during the day, the parking is usually full. Also during the winter months when the platform use is highest, staff could be on duty for snow removal or working on outdoor ice. He added that the additional parking along West Park Drive would benefit the entire park all year long as there is not enough parking during the summer when baseball and the gardens are in full use. Mr. Olson stated that WB Olson has had previous experience with warming huts and have two of them at Westmoreland and the North Shore Country Club, and they bid on the project at the Skokie Country Club. He also added he feels that the estimated Park District budget is realistic for the building of the hut. Commissioner Murdock asked about the budget for Hinsdale. Mr. LaLonde replied that the budget was $800,000 with three courts. Commissioner Shelly asked Mr. Olson what work they did at North Shore. He replied they built the original hut and two courts but did not do the remodeling work. Mr. LaLonde added that the partial basement would be more cost effective than a full basement. That way a second means of egress would not be needed and it would take the mechanical systems off the “important” floor. Commissioner Crowley asked if it made sense to make it larger. Mr. LaLonde replied that fire egress is an issue. Commissioner Murdock asked if they had thought about elevating the hut above the courts. Mr. Mihelich replied no mainly because of the ADA requiring full access. Mr. Mihelich gave an overview of their concept. Simpler shapes and nice finishes that require low maintenance would be used. Mr. Olson added that the views are the most important part of the design. Mr. LaLonde added this was a first concept which was done based on the program sent to them without any input from the Park Board and staff. The design would be a collaborative effort. Commissioner Murdock asked what they liked about Hinsdale. Mr. LaLonde replied that they had constraints by existing conditions but the hut is nice with a vaulted ceiling and lots of glass. Mr. Olson added that the fire pit might be sacrificed in order to improve the hut layout and improve site lines. The kitchen should not be elaborate unless we plan on major cooking. He added that counter space is important for catering events. Commissioner Murdock asked why there were two fees in their proposal. Mr. LaLonde replied that one fee is for typical architectural services and the lower fee is for design/build services. He added that the design/build concept allows the owner to lock-in pricing and since the level of detail in the drawings does not have to be as extensive, the design fees are lower.

There was extensive discussion about design elements. Commissioner Shelly stated she is concerned that there is not enough good viewing of the courts. Mr. Olson added that when your design includes views of six courts, it is difficult to have perfect views of all courts. Commissioner Shelly asked if the building design could be changed. Mr. LaLonde said that the design shown is a concept and that the necessary facilities could be placed in the center of the building with viewing around it. If retained to do the design, they would work with the Park Board and staff to come up with a design they would be happy with. The Committee thanked the group for their presentation.


     d. H. Gary Frank gave an overview of his firm. He has done primarily residential work. He lives in Winnetka and grew up there. When he designed the warming hut at Winnetka, all huts had previously been nothing more than shacks. He admitted he did not spend a lot of time on a design but has since seen the program and the budget. A basement would add a lot to the cost. His feeling is that knowing how to design is more important than the design. He feels the program he was given was very extensive but wants to review it. Commissioner Murdock asked if he has taken the easement into account. Mr. Frank replied he had not but would need to know the restrictions. He developed four size concepts from 737 square feet up to 890 square feet. The main difference would be the amount of viewing area available. Mr. Frank gave an overview of the Winnetka hut which is 1,200 square feet with accessible washrooms, kitchenette and mechanical space with viewing out the front and two sides. Commissioner Brault interjected he thought that at 1,200 square feet Winnetka is too small. Staff stated they had heard the same thing from the Winnetka staff. Mr. Frank added that the Winnetka facility could have been bigger with an office for the pro and storage. They also had to add outdoor storage for the facility. He stated that the key things are the importance of viewing the courts, comfort of the main room, washroom facilities, how the traffic flows in the viewing area works, and that if a basement is built stairs will be needed which “eats up” the interior space. Commissioner Murdock asked if they wished to have had a fire pit. Mr. Frank replied maybe a grill but there are issues with fire codes and building materials. Commissioner Murdock asked what he would change at Winnetka such as adding more space or bigger windows. Mr. Frank replied that the space works fine for groups of up to 100 and there is nothing he would change. Mr. Frank stated that in looking at the proposed budget, he listed the following building costs that he researched:
• Lake Bluff – 900 sq. ft. -  $378,000  -  $420.00 per square foot
• Winnetka – 1,232 sq. ft. - $525,000 -  $426.00 per square foot
• Concept 1 – 1,000 sq. ft. - $425,000 - $423.00 per square foot.

Mr. Frank added he is currently doing design work for the Winnetka Park District’s Nielsen Tennis Center. He also stated that construction costs are up with materials becoming more expensive and labor is no cheaper either.

Commissioner Murdock asked what other facilities he had seen and what he liked and didn’t like. Mr. Frank replied he liked the Lake Bluff facility’s architecture. the Winter Club in Lake Forest, and the Northfield Park District Field House. He added that the Interior space needs to be durable and he does not see any changes he would make at Winnetka. Commissioner Murdock asked what other warming huts he has designed. Mr. Frank replied just the Winnetka facility. He went on to ask how much was the residential work and Mr. Frank replied 85%. The Committee then thanked Mr. Frank for his presentation.

The Committee began discussion on the presentations. After discussion, the Committee unanimously eliminated Robert Juris and PPK Architects. Commissioner Murdock stated he thought Williams was the safe choice but that they would have to have a better understanding of what the Park Board is looking for. He is concerned that Mr. Frank said he would not change anything. Commissioner Shelly stated she believes Mr. Frank would come up with more creative solutions. She does not feel Williams has what the Board is looking for and thought Mr. Frank’s insight was good. She added that the fire pit is not a problem and a pro’s office is not needed. Commissioner Brault felt you could just give the pro a desk, counter or a chair. Commissioner Crowley stated he felt Williams did more due diligence since they spent a lot of time on the site and took into account the orientation of the facility. He is also concerned that Mr. Frank is quoting $425 per square foot versus $300 that Williams feels is a good budget.

Superintendent Lambrecht added that out of all the groups, PPK and Williams were the only ones to contact staff and that Williams spent a lot of time on site. Staff also discussed the concept of a design/build with the Park District counsel and if that route is chosen, the process would have to start all over again. Commissioner Murdock added that there are features in the Williams design that could be eliminated to pick up more viewing space. Commissioner Shelly felt they missed the mark completely. Gary Frank designed the Winnetka facility seven years ago and it is a great facility. Commissioner Brault stated he feels that the Hinsdale facility designed by Williams is much nicer than Winnetka. He went on to add that he thought the Williams group was amenable to change the design. This presentation was a first blush with any real input from the Park District and felt they were very engaged. He also felt that Mr. Frank did not come across as aggressive at all. Commissioner Benz stated he agreed with Commissioner Brault. Commissioner Shelly stated she thought Williams was just “flash” and that would not a builder come up with construction costs. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that was what they were using WB Olson for which was to check pricing as the design evolves. Commissioner Murdock stated he believes that the Park District will get more for its money with Williams. He also feels Mr. Frank’s estimate of $425 is too high. Commissioner Murdock added that he is concerned about budget “creep” and with Williams they will be costing the project through the design phase. Commissioner Shelly stated she believed choosing Williams would be a mistake and that all the logic points to selecting Gary Frank. Commissioner Murdock believes they can add more square footage with Williams even perhaps up to 1,300 square feet compared to the 1,000 square feet that Gary Frank indicated.      

 After further discussion, Commissioner Murdock asked for a vote. Commissioner Crowley moved to select Williams Architects to design the platform tennis facility. Commissioner Murdock seconded. Commissioner Murdock and Crowley voted in favor of Williams Architects. Commissioner Shelly voted no and went on to state that she believes they are only selecting them based on the square footage cost estimate.
 
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:32 pm.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht

MINUTES APPROVED ON NOVEMBER 19, 2012.