Chairman’s Update – October 7, 2015

Attendees: Taryn Brice-Rowland, Dennis Burstein, Laura Fries, Jeanne Garner, Carolyn Griglione, Bill Rivers, Aaron Rowland, Roger Sullivan, Amanda Wall, Melynda Wilcox

Bill reminded the Board that today was David Miller’s last day in the Rec Department. He will be replaced on a temporary basis by William Chesley, a fellow Division Director in the Rec Department.

Bill explained that Laura Durham was unable to attend the Board meeting but that he had spoken with her earlier in the day to get an update on the aquatic projects with the City. Bill handed out a written summary of their conversation (and is included at the end of this meeting summary). In the future, he and other Board members will attempt to send any written material out to the Board electronically before the meetings.

Progress is being made on all projects. The City Manager will be briefed on Chinquapin this Friday and a decision made as to when to present it to the City Council (and the public). Additional site analysis by Hughes should help lower the cost estimates. The final report on Warwick is due shortly from CARDNO. Another particular highlight was the proposed 2017 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) submission from the Rec department, which requests funding for all aquatic projects through the next ten years: Old Town, a therapeutic pool, a combination artistic/aquatic feature at Colasanto, demolition of the old pool at Ewald, and replacement of skylights at Chinquapin. There are many review levels that the proposal has to go through and it seems like a real challenge for all of the proposals to survive, but at least they are being asked for in the formal budget process.

Another item that impacted the Board’s agenda for tonight was the information from Laura Durham that the Park and Recreation Commission would not be addressing the Northern Virginia Regional Authority’s proposal involving the Cameron Run Aquatic Feature at its next meeting. The City is still working on alternatives to the proposal and won’t be able to present anything to the Commission by next week’s meeting. Instead, the Commission will address the neighborhood park plans.

Laura had also recommended that AAA attend the public meetings on the 2017 budget. They will not go into the detail of showing things like the aquatic projects, but it would be good for AAA to voice its desire for all aquatic projects to be funded.

The discussion then turned to the Free Bus Service Program this past summer. Bill summarized a meeting held with DASH and the City as a wrap-up after the summer. As indicated in previous AAA meetings, the actual ridership to the pool was lower than hoped, although positive benefits were seen for the three program organizers (AAA, the City, and DASH), as well as for those who rode the bus. Problems identified with the program were:

  • It was developed without adequate lead-time.
  • It was difficult to train the DASH drivers on such short notice.
  • While attempts were made to advertise heavily once the program started, we didn’t use any of the Spanish language publications.
  • Many of the summer programs already had their schedules done before we started the program so they couldn’t take advantage of it.
  • The times selected didn’t match up well with the pool hours.
  • The promotion of the program would have been better served by an earlier start so that word could have gotten out during the school year.
  • Weekends seem to generate more pool usage than weekdays. If we focused on just weekends, the costs would be between $3,000 and $5,000, in lieu of the $20,000 for this summer’s program.

Bill indicated that if we were to do a similar program next summer, it would need to be in place by April. It was agreed that AAA would address the subject again in January to see what the interest level would be. Bill will attempt to get some feedback from Arlandria organizations prior to that to help make a more informed decision.

The Board then addressed the Day of Giving sponsored by Razoo, which is December 1 this year. All members agreed that AAA should participate and that the emphasis should be on all the good things that AAA has done over the past year and our plans for the future, with specific mention of the 50-meter pool. It was decided to take this approach rather than just focusing on the 50-meter pool since there is still some uncertainty about its cost and what the project will entail. Laura Fries will write a series of emails advertising Giving Day that will be sent to the AAA mailing list. Taryn will work with her and Razoo to organize the effort with some assistance from Amanda.

Carolyn then briefed the Board on Family Fun Nights and the joint effort with the City to encourage West End swimmers to visit Chinquapin:

Family Fun Nights:

  • Carolyn handed out the schedule for the coming year.
  • Of particular note is that the Hammond Middle School will be an active participant this year.
  • There will be a general night called “Spooktacular” around Halloween.
  • The swim for October 3rd had to be rescheduled due to the possible hurricane, but will be done later this year.
  • We are getting so much interest that we may have more than one Fun Night in a month to accommodate all interested parties.
  • Carolyn is contacting other schools for participation so the list will grow.

West End:

  • The Make a Splash Program is working with the City and AAA to provide swimming lessons to West End kids.
  • The City will provide vans to transport kids from Ramsey to Chinquapin for swimming lessons.
  • The program is being funded through a discretionary fund of $10,000 set up by City Council for recreation programs involving Ramsey.
  • The possibility was raised that we may make a grant request to the Make A Splash National Foundation to continue to fund the program after the initial funding is used.
  • Carolyn is working with Jefferson Houston to consider offering swim lesson to 3rd graders. That is in the preliminary stage and she will post us on developments.

In other news:

  • Melynda stated that she had picked up the printed donor packages from the designer so we can now start scheduling meetings with large donors.
  • Melynda will contact Susan to have the AAA number for Holy Cow (#190) shown on our website. That will allow for funds to be raised through food purchases at the restaurant.
  • Melynda will order 100 car magnets with the Fuel the Pool logo that can be given to those who donate $50 or more on Giving Tuesday and that can be purchased.
  • Dennis suggested that we contact the Winkler Foundation for a possible donation. They sponsor many kids’ activities at the Winkler Preserve, including boating lessons on the lake there.

 

Notes from Conversation with Laura Durham 

October 7, 2015 

Chinquapin:

  • Internal City meeting with City Manager and OMB on 10/9
  • On Hughes Report
  • Cost numbers have come down on:
    • Facility as initially proposed
    • One level facility
  • Decision as to whether to go to Council with briefing
  • May want to look for even lower costs – but concern over trade-off with operating costs
  • Also will discuss Arlington/Alexandria joint venture
    • Arlington resident survey – likely November
  • Possible that Council will want to wait until after election to be briefed

Warwick:

  • CARDNO is finalizing their report
    • Done within the month
  • Still looking good
  • Big decision is on second floor meeting room
    • Would add the cost of an elevator to the building renovation

Other Aquatic Facilities

  • Internal Rec Dept. 2017 budget includes money for all aquatic facilities (Note: This was passed out at the September Park and Recreation Commission meeting).
  • Covers Old Town, Colasanto, Therapeutic, Ewald as well as Warwick and Chinquapin
  • Many more review levels before it goes to Council.
  • Public hearings on the 2017 budget – won’t have this detail in them, but may be good idea to speak at one about pools

Park and Recreation Commission – Cameron Run

  • October meeting won’t address Park Authority’s proposal; City hasn’t finished developing options yet
  • October focus will be on Neighborhood Parks
  • Session is on 10/15

 

 

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