You may have seen this note on the listserve but not everyone is on the listserve and we want to be as thorough as possible in distributing these updates. Please be patient with our duplication; it is all in the interest of transparency. Thank you to those of you who were able to come by for our update about the pool renovation project at the Memorial Day picnic. Everyone had great questions and we very much appreciate your feedback. We want to update everyone and also share the initial first sketch of a design idea. This first sketch is an attempt to meet our basic needs within our current space constraints.

Please click on the link and look at the sketch. Please read the short update below and respond to Greg Wang or Cathy Stocker with your thoughts and comments. We would like to get your responses and reactions–if you have any–back quickly–in the next day or so would be preferable. We are trying to be responsive to the architects in order to keep this “feasibility” stage of the project on schedule and I think if we give people too much time to respond, this email will end up on the bottom of a lot of “pending” inboxes.   You do not have to send back essay quality writing: phrases, bullet points and monosyllabic responses are fine!

We will also be available tonight, Wednesday, June 10th, after time trials if anyone would like to swing by and discuss the sketch in person.

LF Pool.Scheme 7-2-2

Our work to date:

We first met with project manager John Chadwick and our pool manager Chuck Montrie on Wednesday, April 1st. We met at the pool, where we examined the existing layout, discussed what the most basic requirements were for the renovation and also brainstormed some potential “add-on” options. What we realized early was that we had very few options in terms of space. This was the main concern that drove our brainstorming. We also operated from a “Let’s Keep it Simple” mentality because we know how concerned some of the members are about price. The basic concept for improvement includes:

1. Adding the overall depth required to meet safety standards.

2. Adding two lanes in the main pool, expanding the existing perimeter toward the bathhouse.

3. Widening the diving well a bit such that we can create lanes for swimming laps in both directions, horizontally and vertically.

4. Creating an enlarged and deepened toddler and young child pool that will provide shallower water for novice swimmers (now that the main pool will be deeper overall) while at the same time alleviating some of the congestion in the main pool.

5. Including a baby pool, which I laughingly refer to as a baby “puddle,” similar to what many other pools have—very small and shallow and really designed for infants and crawlers.

During our second meeting, on Wednesday, April 23rd, we actually brought the graph paper and the rulers and started drilling down on what space we actually could use with the least amount of disruption to our existing perimeter.

We ruled out any options that required moving toward the Baltimore Avenue side of the pool, because that would disrupt the berm. We also ruled out any construction that pushed the pool back toward the Glen Cove Parkway side of the pool, though we did talk about adjusting the existing fence to create some better flow between areas.

The main add on that we discussed was a simple shade pavilion and decking. This structure would be designed to be an area for seating as well as the focal point for social activities and congregating at our BBQs.

We discussed capturing space by pushing our fence out toward the Little Falls Drive side of the property. This allows us to maintain some green space and quiet seating areas. We looked carefully at the trees and believe that we can do this without much disruption to any important trees.

Our third meeting was on Friday, May 1st at the offices of SEI, the firm from where pool architect Dave Almay works. We presented the concept for improvements and explained our “wish list” and what constraints we were facing.

Finally, our fourth meeting was on May 4th at the pool itself. The architects came though and surveyed the bathhouse and took “real” measurements of the entire space in preparation for preparing design documents.

In the meantime, our project manager John Chadwick identified a surveying company from which we now have an estimate. We also have an estimate for Phase 1 of the work from Dave Almay’s architectural group (which is called SEI). Fortunately, the estimates do not exceed the $50,000 for which we have a mandate from the membership to spend in order to get us to the point where we have a proposed design and estimate.

Next Steps:
We need to start the surveying work. The architects need the work from Snider Surveyors in order to complete their work. The architects will come back to us at the 10% completion point and at the 25% completion point to check in and make sure they are going in the right direction. We will either make adjustments or ask them to continue inking in the “rough sketch.”

When the design documents are done, John Chadwick will prepare an in-house estimate based on square-foot comps. He has both the nearby Bannockburn and Mohican pool renovation comps to guide him and he will also check estimates with some of the major sub contractors (with whom he has many contacts). At that point, we will have a proposed design and an estimate for the cost. You may wonder, what if the estimate is too high? If so, we will re-visit the pavilion idea and/or go back to the architects and ask them to scale back the design.

A note about how we will be spreading the word and how you can be in touch with us:

I, and my fellow board members have had the privilege of having many helpful and informative one-on-one conversations with many of you. This information and feedback has been vital in helping us think through how to tackle such a large project. Moving forward, we are going to aim to communicate in the following ways:

Greg Wang and I will be holding what I jokingly refer to as “office hours” at the pool to give periodic updates and answer questions in person. We have already held one round of office hours. Please look for the dates and times for these office hours on the bulletin board and through emailed pool updates and reminders. You can also reach us via email at: hoyadoc@aol.com (Cathy) or gregwang@gmail.com.

We will include information about the pool renovation process on the website:www.littlefallsswimmingclub.com. The “Comments” function is active on the website so please feel free to comment or ask questions there.

We will also be sending out periodic updates through membersplash and through the LFSC listserve. We will also be posting information on the bulletin board for those who do note have easy online access.

By the end of this summer swim season, we aim to have a pool renovation plan that best meets our pool community’s needs in the most efficient and cost effective way and to bring this plan to the full membership for a vote.

Some Background for folks interested in the history of this process:
First permitted in 1955, our pool has served our community well; and well beyond its 50-year life expectancy. To meet today’s swimming and diving access and safety codes, and to reliably serve the next 50 years of families in our community, the pool needs to be renovated and made deeper and wider in some places.

Over 2011-2012, the LFSC Board contracted for an evaluation of the pool’s health and compliance with current zoning requirements. We learned that the pool was coming to the end of its life—though we fortunately had some breathing room and were not facing any crises—and that the pool’s depth does not meet current zoning codes or current ADA requirements. While we are “legal” right now and grandfathered in, once we start any construction on the pool, we will have to update it to meet current building codes. When the 2011-2012 Board authorized the evaluation of the pool, it also asked pool architect Dave Almy to draw a few conceptual sketches to show what a new pool configuration might look like.

From 2013-2014, members responded with feedback about those conceptual sketches and we got the conversation started about what a renovation might look like. We learned that there was a wide-range of concerns and suggestions and that we did not have a consensus around any particular set of amenities. As a volunteer board, we realized that we needed a professional project and construction manager to shepherd the process.

In January 2015, the membership authorized the LFSC Board to spend up to $50,000 (in 2015) to hire a project manager who would help us develop a design AND an estimated cost so that the membership can vote on whether or not to move forward with the project. We sought bids from three project managers. One opted not to bid after receiving the RFP. One project manager bid $30,000 more than the other. Fortunately for us, the less expensive bid was from John Chadwick, the project manager who, in our judgment, had much more experience and expertise than the others.