WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
FACILITIES OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: September 9, 2013
Place: Village Hall Training Room
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Commissioners: Committee Chair Brault, Wolfe, Shelly; Crowley, Abbott, Benz
Staff: Wilson, Bingham, Bowen, Donoghue, Eppelheimer, Lambrecht, Flynn, B. Smith, D. Smith
Topics of Discussion
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes:
a) August 12, 2013
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Managers Reports
6) Capital Improvement Projects Review
7) Old Business
8) New Business
1) Chair Brault called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
2) Superintendent Bowen clarified that what the Wilmette Hockey Association (WHA) stated at last month’s Committee meeting about Centennial Rinks having the highest rates is actually not true. Chair Brault added that there was a handout the WHA created which listed the pricing of all the facilities and our facility was the fifth highest. WHA point was that Centennial was the highest “public” facility. WHA’s North Shore Rink current main rink price is $410 and Centennial’s is $360. The next highest public rink is Glenview and their rate is $355.
The Committee approved the minutes of the August 12, 2013 Committee meeting by General Consent as amended.
3) Under Communications and Correspondence, Superintendent Bowen informed the committee about an incident at the pool where because of a patron’s behavior, a decision was made to ban the patron from the pool.
Chair Brault asked if there was a procedure to revoke someone’s privileges or was it just a discussion between the individual and the manager. Jeff stated that currently the District’s Behavior Management procedure allows this based on staff’s decision and that there is no appeal process. He added that this type of incident only happened twice before when a male adult that was not acting his best in Open Gym. There was also a situation where a patron was sexually harassing one a female instructors at the fitness center. Commissioner Shelly asked how does staff stop the patron her from coming into the facility and Jeff replied that her account has been deactivated. Chair Brault added that we do not take irresponsive behavior by patrons or the abuse of employees or other patrons lightly.
Chair Brault stated the other two pieces of correspondence in the packet are related to Tennis, one of which is something we can’t do anything although staff will still respond to them and the other correspondence was a very complimentary letter about Barb Jenkins.
Chair Brault asked about the issue of not having lifeguards at the end of August. Jeff stated that up until this season, the pool has been more successful in attracting and maintaining staff until the end of the season. Jeff commented that one thing that hurt the facility this year was that the Chicago public schools started earlier than they had in the past. Up until a few years ago, we hired 40 guards and had one preseason training week. We now try to hire 80 guards at the beginning of the season, and the have a second hiring in late July to attempt to hire more employees that can stay to the end of the season.
Commissioner Shelly brought up the point that the pool publishes a schedule for the season but then the schedule changes in August. Jeff responded that at the direction of the last committee, staff stopped referring to a “pre-season” and “post- season” schedule. After some discussion, the committee felt that in the future it would provide a better expectation to the public if the facility referred to a “pre and post” season schedule to take a look at it and make a recommendation in the future.
4) Under Managers Reports, Ice Manager Sean Flynn reported that he is working on staff scheduling and budget projections for the budget process. Staff is also looking forward to opening the facility.
Superintendent Lambrecht reported the compressors were started on Friday afternoon and by the end of Friday there was frozen ground in the main rink. On Saturday morning they started to flood. The rooftop dehumidification system has not been installed yet and there was considerable humidity in the rinks. The mechanic from M & M refrigeration has been testing and troubleshooting the equipment and he will be there until Wednesday.
Also, according to what the mechanic has said this is a far more efficient system than he has ever assembled and it has been working very well. He added there had been a lot of redundancies in the system with back-up pumps so if something were to go down we can switch to the other one pump etc.. The system also has a very complex management system and the computer running the system provides a lot opportunities to schedule the system to be more efficient.
Chair Brault asked what percentage of the project has been completed. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that the refrigeration system is 100% completed. The dehumidification system will hopefully arrive on Wednesday morning and we will then get set up immediately. The rooftop unit for the balance of that building has already been installed and is up and running. The carpeting will begin to be installed on Friday. The painting has also been completed with only a few punch list items left to do. In general, everything should be done by the end of this week. Jeff added that the ice facility will open on Monday morning at 6 am.
Chair Brault asked Ice Manager Sean what the times looked like for the WHA’s ice contracts and Sean responded they were at 750 hours for the season which pretty much is the same as last year’s number for the first two weeks of the season because of the closure.
Tennis Manager Darrell Smith reported staff is busy preparing for the start of the indoor season which is Sunday, September 29. The courts look great and the new lights look amazing. The indoor basic level classes also on the 29th. At this point, the advanced classes will be held outdoors. Despite everything that’s going on, we sold 148 permanent court times which is up 6 from last year. He stated that this is the first time in many years the permanent court time has increased. In addition, the Junior Basic program has 242 children which is down from last year’s 272. There are also 59 adults in basic level classes compared to 63 last year.
The women’s teams start playing the third weekend of September and the other teams in the leagues have been very good about hosting matches that we otherwise would have had. In addition, the pro shop sale will be delayed until October. There are currently two USTA men’s leagues booked and possibly a third league if all goes well.
Superintendent Lambrecht stated that courts 3 and 4 are well on their way to being completed and the exterior work is done. They also finished the roof today and hung the gutters and will start backfilling next week on the outside and replacing the concrete on the pool deck. The interior painting is finished, the lights are installed, and the whole facility will get a good cleaning since it’s full of dust. Courts 1 and 2 are completed and work continues on the other areas. The steel work is finished in courts 5 and 6 and the last of it will be done on courts 7 and 8. Then we will have to reinstall the gas pipe and heaters and clean, paint, and work our way out in the hopes of getting out of their quickly by the middle of next week.
Chair Brault asked about the next potential expenditure of $300,000 for exterior work and Superintendent Lambrecht replied the $300,000 includes all of the steel columns and brackets since we couldn’t install the columns. It would also include painting and touch-up, removing and reinstalling the gas pipes in the heaters, and relocating the electrical wires. The last item of note is that we had made some changes in the design so there was an issue of some missing bolts in the corners of Courts 1 and 2 so the engineers will need to come up with a fix for that. We are also finding some little miscellaneous items as we move along and continue to open everything up.
Platform Tennis Manager Brad Smith reported that the facility is currently up to 110 members and he is expecting that to increase to 150 before the facility opens. There are also about 30 people who have signed up for lessons starting on October 7. The online process for memberships has been working out very well. There are currently 11 men’s teams with teams in almost every bracket. Brad has also been working with the marketing department in anticipation of the grand opening of the facility. The construction of the platform tennis courts continues. Commissioner Wolfe asked how many people are able to fit in the building for a party and Director Wilson replied 50. Commissioner Shelly responded that it could depend on how many people come in and out at certain times.
Superintendent Lambrecht provided an update on the paddle facility and reported the concrete work is finished in the hut’s foundation, the basement floors were poured, and the stairs were poured last Friday. The contractor also installed the plates and will start laying the floor tomorrow. They will then install the steel structures for the wall. Total Platform will be on-site this week to start installing the piers for the courts. Once the steel is on the ground the courts will hang off the foundation but they won’t be able to install it against the foundation until the steel structure is put underneath it which will probably happen next week. Once the piers are in it will take them no time to set up the courts and the date of October 1st is when the courts should be playable. The electrical service is supposed to go in next week and once that is in we will be able to put power in for the lights, etc.
Commissioner Shelly asked when we would be contacting people regarding team assignments and drill dates. Brad replied that by next Wednesday it should all be done and they are finalizing everything tonight. Chair Brault asked if we would still be able to accept people on teams after that date. Brad replied probably not.
Superintendent Bowen added that Glenview has been very generous to us in allowing our teams to practice on their courts. Chair Brault asked if we have reached out to the tennis members and Superintendent Bowen replied they have.
In regard to pool user statistics, Superintendent Bowen reported that at the pool in 2013 there were 100,002 visits which includes everyone who walked in the door and the average number of visits over the last five years totaled 107,132. The total number of resident vs. non-resident visits in 2013 was 67% residents and 33% non-residents. Of those non-residents, 82% of them who walked through the door were members, 13% were daily admissions and 5% were guests of residents. Chair Brault asked if it was accurate or just coincidental that for the last five years the resident vs. non-resident percentage was exactly the same. Director Wilson replied he was also surprised by those numbers which indicated that no matter the weather, the split remained the same and that usage was in favor of residents. Superintendent Bowen also stated that the number of individual resident memberships was 8,600 and for non-residents 3,317. In addition, 45% of the revenue came from residents and 55% came from non-residents.
Superintendent Bowen reported that the next category is daily admissions and this is where we took a turn down. The percentage of revenue from residents in this category was 36% and the non-resident percentage was 64%. The last item is the number of memberships and daily passes that totaled 4,456 which is pretty consistent with what we experienced over the last few years.
There were actually 20 more children who learned how to swim at the facility this year – 1,060 children last year vs.1,040 this year. Chair Brault asked if staff had any recommendations in regard to resident and non-resident pricing for next year. Superintendent Bowen replied he had some ideas but wanted to have direction from the Committee. He stated that his concern is not so much with the pricing of the memberships but rather with the daily admission pricing. Chair Brault stated he agreed and then asked Superintendent Bowen to come back to the Committee next month to discuss specific ideas. Superintendent Bowen agreed and added that he would be presenting the budgets at the next meeting.
Commissioner Shelly asked why staff thought the numbers were not weather-related along with all the other issues at the pool. Chair Brault stated that the analysis reviewed last month looked at the affect the weather had on daily resident and non-resident passes and the number of daily non-resident passes was significantly higher than it was for residents so we tried to use the weather to see how that had changed proportionately. Commissioner Shelly then asked if she could see that data and added that the pool was not crowded this year which had been one of our goals.
Commissioner Wolfe asked what about increasing resident rates. Superintendent Bowen stated that is also an option. Chair Brault stated we did make a big change last year so maybe we need to tweak that change in order to find the right balance.
5) Superintendent Eppelheimer updated the Committee on the capital project expenditures. Chair Brault asked if there was a better format than the one being reviewed tonight and maybe in a format not only for the Committee of the Whole but also for each Committee independently. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated he could prepare that for the Committee. Chair Brault stated that what he was thinking of when we do this as a Committee of the Whole that we review each area and then on a monthly basis we consider what each specific item is. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated he could do that as well.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:30 pm.
Minutes taken by Jeffrey Bowen.
MINUTES APPROVED ON OCTOBER 14, 2013.