2012-04-26 / News

New golf clubhouse eyed

Council will discuss the proposal during a workshop on Monday

Jamestown should replace the rapidly deteriorating golf course building with a similar structure designed for ease of expansion, the Buildings and Facilities Committee will advise the Town Council.

Although the panel will tweak a few of its recommendations before sending it up to the council, the committee’s extensively detailed report on replacement strategies for the building was adopted unanimously during its April 18 meeting.

The report will be the subject of a Town Council workshop on Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. The discussions that evening will also focus on the potential role of recreation center expansions to accommodate some of the programs that could otherwise be held in the rebuilt clubhouse if the rec center isn’t expanded.

The report discusses every available option for hosting the programs at other town facilities, but doesn’t offer a rec center recommendation. Rather, said Chairman Duncan Pendlebury, “We are recommending further study.”

In its September 2011 report to the council, the committee provided the council with a Building Condition Report, which said the clubhouse “required substantial replacement.” Depending on the replacement options chosen by the council, the cost to replace the building would be in the vicinity of $1.2 million.

But the cost will go up if the council decides to add such options as a second story, a catering kitchen, a porch and conference rooms.

For its part, however, the committee is recommending an “inkind” replacement with plumbing stubs and power, but nothing more. Its interior spaces would be finished by the golf course operators at their expense. Other options among the five presented in the report include a pair of buildings – one of which would intrude into the ninth green – and a multipurpose structure adjacent to the first tee, which would allow the existing clubhouse to be used during construction.

But the committee is “only recommending a replacement of the building, but it could be much more efficient and functional without the need for exterior partitions. It could also be a ‘green’ building as [Commissioner Chris Fabiszak] suggested.”

Although the report discusses the merits of various placement options, the panel didn’t recommend one. “Certain locations have better connections to the first tee,” said Pendlebury, “but our mission was to figure out what to do there. What we didn’t do was to say where.”

One of the tweaks that the committee added to its report was a recommendation for the council to consider building a second story on the replacement building – a recommendation that would increase the roughly $1.2 million estimate for the in-kind structure. (The panel will adjust the estimate before submitting its report to the council.)

Pendlebury pointed out that the second story wouldn’t need to be finished out, and that building it as part of the replacement project would be more economical than adding it later. Commissioner Mike Testa said, “My sense is that the [second-story] space would be filled” – if not for some particular use, then with stored items.

Bill Murphy, the council’s liaison to the committee, pointed out that the panel is recommending a space large enough to seat 350 people, “but there’s only enough parking spaces for 200 vehicles.”

Pendlebury replied that “there’s always the possibility of adding parking, but that wasn’t in the purview of our report. The lot is partly used for park-and-ride parking, and, in previous discussions, we talked about the possibility of buying a lot across the street and turning it into additional parking. In our meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, we talked about the need for a shuttle service [into the village], but we didn’t go into that in the report.”

Pendlebury noted that the parking lot could be expanded by siting the clubhouse further west, but that’s an option that the council will have to tackle as it discusses additional uses for the building. Some of those uses, such as yoga classes, have been shifted to the rec center during the winter because of structural concerns about the building – meaning its integrity under the weight of snow.

However, the decision on the sites for those programs will be part of the council’s broader discussion about a potential rec center expansion.

“We all think the rec center is a great resource, and it would be even greater if it were expanded,” Pendlebury said. “We are recommending further study, but, if the community theater continues to perform there, we would recommend adding a very necessary backstage area.”

The recommendation will be added to the report, which delves into rec center options in great depth because the panel reviewed the option of expanding the center to accommodate the rec department programs that have been displaced by the loss of community areas in the clubhouse.

The report notes the following expansion options at the rec center:

• A 2,400-square-foot addition on its southern side (which would require a zoning variance). This option, says the report, “would improve functional back stage areas, adult programs and storage for the recreation department.”

• A 2,000-square foot expansion on the northern side, “providing,” says the report, “that building to the lot line was permitted and a court was created to allow daylight into the teen center. This potential addition would provide additional teen center space as well as room for adult classes … and recreation department storage below.”

The report notes that the cost of either option would be about $900,000, plus site work.

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