Park Board meeting, April 3, 2014

PARKSTime is drawing near for the Rec Center grand opening and a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with speeches and fanfare is planned for Tuesday, May 13, tentatively mid-morning around 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will be followed by an open house to last most of the day, with refreshments, membership sign-up table, weight room opening and class demonstrations, the works. The building will be closed later that day and reopen for full business two days later–Thursday, May 15.

A drive-by shot of the new Homewood Rec Center, as seen in late March. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is set for May 13, 2014.

Here’s a drive-by shot of the new Homewood Rec Center, as seen from the street in late March, 2014. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is set for May 13, 2014.

Following the meeting Mr. Holley elaborated on the membership sign-ups so far, saying there were approximately 1,600-1,800 full-time members when the old building was closed, and there were 1,750 “Total Access” members signed up before the March 15 deadline on the early enrollment special giving away six months free. He explained that although the first year’s memberships are not open to non-residents, about 75 non-resident members who had continued at the temporary site during construction were also offered renewals. The board may open memberships to non-residents after the first trial year, he said.

Members present: Chris Meeks, chairman, Tom Walker, Becky Morton, Marjorie Trimm, Michael Murray and Tom Blake.

Members absent: Paula Smalley, Tyler Vail, and Keith Stansell.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public services director, Rusty Holley, park and recreation center superintendent, Jakob Stephens, athletic director, and Dianne Rice, board secretary.

Audience attendance: 1

Approved March 6, 2014 meeting minutes

Exceptional Foundation update – At the chairman’s request, Mr. Squires brought everyone up to date on the status of the Exceptional Foundation’s rezoning hearing the previous Monday. The Exceptional Foundation’s expansion, as planned, involves a shared parking arrangement with the rec center and allowing EF traffic to exit the planned addition by circling through the parking lot and out to Oxmoor Road. Mr. Squires said the vote was delayed by an abstention, however two problems seemed to concern several council members–1)  The left turn from Oxmoor into the planned drop-off drive, and its impact on traffic, and 2) The aesthetics of the new building itself. Ms. Morton said the building appearance was a concern she’s heard most frequently.  The council has asked the architect for more drawings.

Although the council won’t vote again until at least the April 14 meeting, the council’s Planning and Development Committee will take another look at the plan on April 7.  If there are enough concerns or big changes requested, the plan may have to back to the Planning Commission, he said.

Approved three events for Central Park: 1) On Saturday, June 28, the Homewood Arts Advisory Council will host and all-afternoon “Picking in the Park” blue grass event; 2) The Foundation for Fighting Blindness will have an unspecified event from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4; and 3) Samford University’s Phi Mu chapter will host a 5K run and fundraiser benefiting Children’s Miracle Network on Saturday, Nov. 15, 6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Rec center status report: Mr. Squires reported on the finishing touches being added to the rec center.

  • The parking lot will be finished by next Wednesday.
  • The pool was filled and passed a required 7-10 day “leak test.” It will be drained, tiled and hopefully ready for the real test by the Memorial Day opener.
  • The cardio and weight equipment will be delivered on April 14; office furniture will arrive 10 days later.
  • Telephone and Internet connections will follow the week of April 21.

Membership and summer camp updates: Mr. Holley said summer camp registration was filling up but there were still places left. The program is for residents only or children of city employees.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

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