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GSC - Master Plan Background and Capital Campaign Fact Sheet

(Updated 3-1-2016)

 

With input from the membership, the Board of GSC has developed a Master Plan related to the development of the Club’s infrastructure.   The Master Plan is meant to address GSC’s fixed building and equipment needs.  The overriding purpose of the Master Plan is to ensure that the facilities are able to safely and fully support the Club’s mission in light of the memberships’ requirements. .

This outline provide key details on what has been accomplished, decisions made and what still needs to be done to move forward, as well as facts on the final phase and funding status as of December 2015.

Background – Where Are We and How Did We Get Here? 

  • By 2013, it had become clear that the Club’s infrastructure had come to the end of its useful like. The Zamboni needed to be replaced, the chilling system was inefficient, expensive to run and maintain and at serious risk of an “in-season” failure and the Clubhouse posed a number of functional shortcomings and safety hazards that the Board decided to address.
    • A renovation of the Clubhouse was deemed to be impractical in view of: (1) likely requirements related to upgrade the buildings to code and (2) the fact that even a meaningful renovation would not meet the program’s needs over the next 30 years.
    • We initially looked at renovating the existing structure, but rapidly realized that this was not a viable option.  If GSC were to undertake any reasonable renovation that would result in spending more than 50% of the appraised value of the existing infrastructure, the Board was advised that the club would still need to bring the building up to code (plumbing, electrical, fire, fire escapes, etc.)  In addition, if through a renovation, the Club changed the purpose of the space (e.g. took the old compressor room and made it into locker rooms) it would also be subject to the same requirement to bring the entire building up to code. (As an example of the complexity related to bringing the building up to code, the current Clubhouse sits several feet below the flood plane. Bringing that up to code is obviously onerous and expensive).  At the request of some members with experience in construction, the Board with advice from experts recently revisited the renovation vs. rebuild decision and came to the same conclusion. 
  • One of the goals in the new construction was to make the design of the new clubhouse as functional as possible (e.g. large viewing area, more railing space, locker rooms downstairs, etc.), while being extremely disciplined on costs.  The goal is to avoid anything more than a moderate assessment (approximately $1,500 per family) and not materially increase dues/fees beyond current levels if we hit current fundraising goals.
    • In the design of the new clubhouse there has been a clear trade-off on the exterior and interior detailing focusing on functionality and costs at the expense of elegant materials.  The current design allows the interior to be upgraded with wood paneling, moldings, and other items a few years down the line if the membership wants to make it a priority and raise additional funds

 

Phases I & II – Master Plan Development, Zamboni, New Compressors/Mechanical Shed

  • Phase I and Phase II were initiated in 2013 and have been completed:
    • Master Plan for a new clubhouse and mechanical shed is completed
    • Engineering, permitting and architectural drawings are completed
    • Building of the maintenance shed is completed
    • New Zamboni is in use today
    • New compressors are in use and have kept the ice in good shape despite the unseasonal 50-65 degree days in late November and December.  The club’s skating programs would have certainly been at risk if we didn’t make progress on this Master Plan.
    • 80% of the $1.4 million cost has been funded out of cash – without an assessment.  Knowing we were facing large costs in the coming years, the Board approved the raising of dues, initiation fees and the capital improvement fund putting aside money to cover Phase I and II.

 

Phase III – New Clubhouse & Continued Fundraising

  • Phase III - Building a new clubhouse
    • Timing:  expected tear down of existing structure in April 2016 and expect to be completed by November 2016.
    • Total project costs should not exceed $4.0 - 4.5 million including but not limited to,
      • Plan development, design, consulting, architecture and landscape planning
      • Demolition and construction of clubhouse structure
      • Required utility repositioning (required for renovation or full construction)
      • Furniture and interior decorating
      • Parking and landscaping
  • Clubhouse Construction Cost and Funding Plan:
    • Total Approximate Cost:  $3.0 to $3.5 million for construction with an additional $1.0 million for other costs (hardscape costs and site work, parking areas, various soft costs, landscaping, equipment and furniture as well as a 10% contingency)
  • Mortgage:  The remainder of the funding is expected to come from a mortgage of up to $3.1 million.  Debt service on the mortgage will be funded through the Club’s annual capital improvement charge.
  • Member assessment:  There is a modest assessment of $1,500 per family.  This is very modest for the scope of the entire project.  For reference, other clubs with similar scope capital improvements have assessed in excess of $5000 -$10,000 per member.
  • Donations:
    • The Finance Committee reached out initially to a small group before going to the general membership and approximately $1,000,000 has been pledged and $900,000 has been collected to date.  The overall fundraising goal is $1.1 million.
    • Initial donations were raised first among a small group to demonstrate to the membership that there is strong support – not just verbally – but financial commitment to taking the club’s infrastructure forward.  We also wanted to provide a reasonable and achievable amount for the remaining members and alumni.
    • We are now reaching out to the broader membership to complete the fundraising goals:
      • Target 100% participation through multiple levels:
        • 1980 US Olympic Team –$30,000 and above
        • The Real Winter Classic – $20,000 to $29,999
        • Jump and Spin –  $10,000 to $19,999
        • Friday Night Lights – $5,000 to $9,999
        • Free Hockey – $2,500 to $4,999
        • General Skate – $1,000 to $2,499
        • Snack Bar – Up to $999

 

Summary Project and Funding Facts

  • Expected Demolition Date:  Spring 2016
  • Architectural Review Board Approval:  Approved January 6, 2016
  • Environmental testing:  As required by law.
  • Scope of “Clubhouse” Phase (Schematics attached):
    • Complete demolition
    • Raising foundation to code
    • Building construction
    • Update utilities to code and bring 8” water line from Fairfield Rd.
    • Bring natural gas to the clubhouse
    • Interior furnishings and finishes
    • Landscaping and parking renovation
  • Financing:  Up to $3.1 million mortgage is being sought from Patriot National Bank.
    • General Terms of the mortgage facility:  
      • 4.5% Fixed interest rate for the first 5 years, resets after that.
      • 25 year amortization
      • 20 year balloon maturity
      • No prepayment penalties if fully or partially repaid with Donations or member assessments
  • Assessment:             $375,000 billed in February 2016
  • Member Gift Goal:                   $1,100,000
    • Gifts to Date:            $1,010,700 (82% of Goal)
    • Funded Gifts:           $857,950
    • Member Gifts:          167 members and friends
    • Gap to Goal:             $89,300
    • GSC Board and CCC participation:  100%
    • Participation Level Summary to Date March 1, 2016:

Tier

$Range

Total$

%$

Total#

Olympic

>$30k

$430,000

43%

12

Winter Classic

$20-30k

$155,000

15%

7

Jump and Spin

$10-20k

$200,000

20%

19

Fri Night Lights

$5-10k

$136,000

13%

27

Free Hockey

$2.5-5k

$36,350

4%

14

General Skate

$1.0-2.5k

$44,350

4%

40

Snack Bar

<$1.0k

$9,000

1%

48

         

Total

 

$1,010,700

 

167

 

 

 

Other frequently asked questions

 

Q:  How was the project budgeted?

A:  Several years ago the Board knew that the current clubhouse, Zamboni and chillers were coming to the end of their useful life.  We started to raise the fees and implemented a capital improvement fund to help set aside money to put towards the project.  Approximately 80% of the costs of Phase I and II have been covered from these internally generated funds.  The remaining clubhouse construction will be financed by a modest assessment, gifts and financing that will be paid down in future periods though working capital, capital assessment charges and future fundraising events.

 

Q:  Who did the architectural plan?

A: Ridberg & Associates

 

Q:  What approvals are necessary?  Are there wetland, environmental or other variances required?

A:  The project received final approval by the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) January 6, 2016.  All wetlands and contaminant issues have been addressed and the project is cleared for construction.

 

Q:  How will the project be awarded?

A:  All permits and needed variances have been completed. The construction will be put out for competitive bid inlate February / early March with 3 weeks to submit a proposal.  The project will be awarded shortly thereafter.

 

Q:  When is completion expected?

A: The construction of the new clubhouse is expected to start in April and be complete in time for our November opening.

 

Q:  What if it is delayed, what are the contingencies?

A:  If there are delays, the Board will secure temporary trailers for use as locker rooms until final construction can be completed.  The priority will be to get the first story with the lockers rooms completed.

 

We hope this helps provide additional insight and transparency into a process.  The Board and Committees are confident these goals are achievable and the final focus on the Capital Campaign will create a prudent financial foundation for the plan.

 

 

Sincerely, 

Greenwich Skating Club Board of Governors