Having recently returned from visiting children and grandchildren in the USA, it was a bit of a surprise to leave temperatures of 39°C and return to 6-16°C. Nevertheless, the rain is welcome and with water restrictions now in place hopefully there will be more of it.
Country Club – Updated Plans
The Country Club claimed my immediate attention on the day I was back with our Architect Nicholas Back and Chair of the Assets and Standards Sub-Committee Laurie Ihnativ requesting an urgent meeting to discuss a suggested change to the location of the new Members’ Lounge. A similar idea had been raised earlier in the project and was rejected however, as is often the case with projects of this type, we cannot see all of the pros and cons until we actually get into the work and observe it all on-site.
Looking at the area allocated to the Members’ Lounge and the resulting layout of the gym, it was clear that while we could fit all of the exercise equipment into the existing weights room, space would be tight due to some cardiac equipment being included. It would also be difficult to place a television in a way that could be viewed from all equipment. In addition, the Members’ Lounge would be compromised by a structurally required 3.6m long blade wall through its central axis, thus limiting its useable space.
On Saturday we held a further on-site meeting with those members of the Executive Committee who could attend, plus a member of the Extensions Project Team and came up with the idea to move the Members’ Lounge into the existing library area and to also extend the space into the large reception area leading to the pool. We believed that this would provide an improved ambiance for members on occasions where the upstairs areas were fully booked for functions (expected to be two weekend nights per month) as well as allowing more natural light. Also from here, there is a view to the pool and vista beyond and it provides a more comfortable and spacious library and foyer setting, where couches, tables and chairs could be spread along the sides. In addition, this re-arrangement would allow for much more storage capacity for the new kiosk as well as additional space in the aerobics room and allow the sauna and stream rooms to once again have a covered space for placing personal items which was not possible under the original plan.
Because we believed that there was merit in the changes presented, we called an emergency meeting of CA Representatives for the Monday evening where these changes were presented. After a very long and constructive discussion the CA Reps agreed to the changes and the modified plan has now been actioned.
The Country Club Extensions
The extensions are progressing very well, on time and on budget. Demolition work has been completed and internal building works are on track and external building works are just starting. Dianne Brooks, our Senior Facilities Manager, is keeping a close eye on the day to day progress and contingency costs, as well as managing the actual to budget costs.
As part of the demolition of the balcony timber we discovered a large section of balcony had rotted away due to poor drainage and membrane waterproofing.
It is fortunate that we found this now as it could have been a much more costly and perhaps even a safety issue later.
We have engaged an interior designer to provide ideas for the interior of the Club and we now have recommendations to review and budget in a staged refit. We are working closely with the Country Club Sub-Committee to provide initial funding for the opening of the new extensions and this will involve the first stage of interior design changes.
Plane Trees and Property Damage
Members may have noticed a large excavation outside of Carolina. This work has been commissioned by the CA Executive as a pilot project working closely with Canada Bay Council to obtain a measure of how much Council will allow for root trimming of plane trees and what the typical cost will be to do the trimming, repair the guttering and footpath as well as make good the area. It is our intention to use this information and subsequent work to be completed in front of Carolina, Ascot and started at Garland Mews, to extrapolate the data and determine the likely costs to the Community in future years for these types of repairs.
There is no doubt that our maintenance expenditure for landscaping, tree management and blocked drains will be an increasing cost which will effect our current and future levies. The question is by how much and what impact is this likely to have on levies. We hope to have sufficient information by this year’s AGM to provide answers. On a positive note, our meetings with Council’s Senior Management have resulted in the Council allowing us a twelve month period to continue our plane tree trimming program without the need to have Council Officers on site. We will provide before and after photos of work and will use an agreed arborist. This will significantly speed up this type of work. We continue to meet with Council to gain other concessions such as our own Area Enforcement Officer in lieu of a reduction in our rates.
Continuing editions of the Breakfast Pointer
The Country Club is scheduled to reopen on the last week of September and until then we do not have the usual copy for the Club such as menus, Friday night specials etc, hence the Breakfast Pointer has limited interesting information, other than my report. We have been debating whether to suspend future editions until the Club reopens, although there is a strong wish to continue with publications through this period.
We would like to invite any member who is interested in being an official roving reporter to contact Jo firstname.lastname@example.org. The work would only require a commitment to write a small community interest piece each month. This could be an interview with a community member, a piece on what it is like living in this community, or any number of other pieces of interest to