Guest Editorial 2-10-2013 – Wildwood Interactive
Marty Domagala – Hummingbird Drive
Mike Doscher – Camas Court
We are writing this to encourage Members to become actively involved in the Board’s current efforts at planning for a new or remodeled Clubhouse. From our experience in the planning and consensus-building that resulted in the Community Center, we can tell you that over two years and thousands of hours of volunteer work, and many town hall meetings, went into this effort. Key to this successful undertaking was the community becoming actively involved early and throughout the process. In the end all these efforts led to a strong majority vote for the project.
We are concerned that the Board’s current aggressive Clubhouse schedule and process has leapfrogged several steps that any large project anywhere must follow to be a success. First and foremost for our Clubhouse are its basic requirements. What Member needs should the design be focused on achieving? Second is the forging of a community consensus around these requirements so that the final design best meets those requirements. Given LWAs many and diverse interests, this is a very tough job that any Board must facilitate. In fact we contend that consensus-building is the hardest of all Board responsibilities, something that we must all help in shaping. It’s also a tough task for each of us too, for in the end many of us will have to “give up” on our individual ideas for solving our Clubhouse problem, deferring to and buying into a broader consensus for the betterment of the entire community.
If the Board continues to follow the course that it’s on, LWA funds will be spent on architects and engineers BEFORE the broad community has had input on the foregoing steps, including the fundamental planning assumptions around requirements. As one example, the current “conceptual” design being discussed with architects is founded on a very small group’s vision of what LWA needs. One of these requirements assumes the majority of us want to significantly enlarge our dining area and kitchen using the current service model. That assumption seems to infer that we need more space and that demand is exceeding our facilities capacity. But from history and many town halls, one of the factors that led us to recommend building the Community Center before the Clubhouse was the Member-shared concerns about spending large sums of money on a heavily subsidized building and operation. Since the current draft budget undergoing Board review calls for a $200,000 Clubhouse subsidy, shouldn’t the Board enlist Member input now on whether their past subsidy concerns still exist, and solicit their ideas on how this issue could be addressed in any new or remodeled Clubhouse?
Hence we are recommending that the Board take a pause in its ongoing process and host a series of town halls or workshops for some serious discussions on the basic assumptions/requirements for any Clubhouse in LWW. Their current process would have us provide input AFTER the tens of thousands of Member dollars are spent on a Clubhouse conceptual design and a table top model. Is that the most timely and cost effective way of presenting the “answer”, only to have significant Member input at that stage on some basic fundamentals that will cost even more for the architects to address?
From the recent MWA structural review it appears that something has to be done with our Clubhouse. The three possible courses suggested by their analysis are fixing what we have, significantly remodeling it, or building a new Clubhouse on the hill. The current conceptual design the Board is working on calls for a 15,000 square foot facility there with parking spaces for 60 cars. MWA, based on their recent experience at Lake of the Pines, claims a new building would cost some $225 per square foot—this would result in cost of about $3.4 million. Per MWA, over and beyond this amount would be the cost of demolishing the current structure as well as site and infrastructure upgrades. And with the Board conceptual design parameters also calling for additional features such as a new Admin building and golf pro shop, costs well above $4 million dollar range can be expected. So, if Members approve this and the resultant expenditure of their funds at the ballot box, this project will be the largest ever constructed at Lake Wildwood.
Please get involved. If you are unable to attend a Board meeting to present your views, please send your comments to them at email@example.com. If you want others to consider what you have to say, send letters to TWI. Further, if you want to enter into an online dialog with others on this and other Association matters log on to Wildwood Interactive at lwwa.net.