Charting the Future

 
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With a commitment to responsible stewardship of our open spaces, facilities, infrastructure, and financial resources, the Board approved the selection of Hord|Coplan|Macht (HCM) to design a roadmap to keep Genesee a living, evolving, adapting, forward looking community. This decision came after months of discussion on how to proceed with the repairs needed at our pools and Vista Courts.

The Facilities Committee convened in January 2017 after completing a large project in the Vista remodel and now with several new members and several large projects yet to be addressed. The Committee was tasked to undertake the repairs at our aging pools and courts at Vista. In addition, the playground at Solitude had been removed during construction of the new Genesee Water and Sanitation water treatment plant. The playground was to be replaced. The Committee members brought their varied expertise and project management experiences and developed a plan to move forward. Rather than address these projects in a piecemeal fashion, the Committee felt that a comprehensive overview of all of our facilities, including the trails system, was needed to provide answers to a number of questions that arose when developing the scope of work.

The Facilities Committee subsequently launched the project “Charting the Future: Recreational Sites Master Plan”. A Request for Proposals was developed and bids were solicited from several landscape architecture firms. Our Committee evaluated the proposals and then interviewed four firms. We checked their references and we confidently recommended Hord|Coplan|Macht (HCM) (the lowest bidder) be retained to construct this Master Plan. The Finance Committee and the Board approved this project in August 2017.

With its significant experience in park, recreational facility, and trail planning, HCM has worked hand-in-hand with the Facilities Committee and Genesee residents who participated in the workshops, open house and feedback opportunities to design the look and feel of areas when they are ready for repairs and/or replacement. All comments were considered, and this information was used to produce multi-generational design concepts. The Recreational Sites Master Plan for Genesee is a working document that can be updated easily as the community evolves. These design concepts serve as a roadmap for the future. It will be up to future boards and residents to implement these plans in phases - as time and funds allow.

The process HCM proposed to work with the Genesee community to develop the Master Plan is available at the link below. The text was extracted from the contract with HCM and describes the responsibilities of HCM and Genesee as well as the specific deliverables and details of the content of the final Master Plan.

The detailed minutes for all meetings between HCM and the Facilities Committee allow you to follow along as the planning process unfolded. You can access them at the following link:

 

Believing deeply in creating an in-depth, efficient, open and citizen-focused community process as part of this public project, the Facilities Committee planned two workshops and an open house to take us from vision to reality.

The first community workshop was held on February 7, 2018. At this workshop, HCM graphically presented their initial analysis of Genesee’s Recreational sites. Based on their field work, they listed Opportunities and Constraints for each site. They also provided pictures of potential amenities for our residents to consider. About 130 residents participated, giving valuable input about the potential for our recreational sites and how to plan for the future of our amenities. The presentation boards for this workshop can be reviewed at the following link:

 

In addition to table leaders summarizing their table’s thoughts at the end of the evening, resident input was gathered by collecting comments via an open-ended questionnaire. Residents who were unable to attend the meeting were given the opportunity to complete the questionnaire online. Residents at the meeting were also given a number of sticky dots that they could use to indicate possible amenities that they liked. HCM took all of this input and produced the following analysis:

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The second planning workshop was held on April 17, 2018. 

Using the information provided by residents at the first community meeting, HCM presented several concept offerings for each of our three outdoor recreational spaces (Foothills, Solitude and Vista), as well as our Trails. Approximately 175 residents gathered to consider the specifics of each of the options. This process asked residents to work together to create and re-imagine spaces that embraced community gathering, recreation and play, and connections to nature, health, learning and education. The slides HCM used for the presentation, as well as the multiple alternative conceptual designs presented for each site can be reviewed at this link:

Over 400 residents participated in this process, through the meeting format and/or online questionnaires. The Community Meeting Data Review document (link below) has an introduction that provides another overview to the planning process and philosophy. It then continues to provide the details and analysis of all of the resident input collected during and after the meeting.

 

Working with the Facilities Committee, HCM took the suggestions, ideas, and changes suggested by those residents, and incorporated these into a single conceptual design for each area. These designs include preliminary costing (on the phasing graphic) and proposed implementation phasing. They can be viewed at this link:

The Facilities Committee hosted an Open House on August 1, 2018 at the Vista Clubhouse so residents could see the Poster Boards with conceptual designs for our recreational areas. These designs are the culmination of community input and present ideas that will carry us through the next twenty years of growing and thriving. Members of the Facilities Committee were present at the Open House to answer questions and listen to resident’s suggestions. Approximately 150 residents attended the Open House. In conjunction with the Open House, the committee created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to help residents understand how we reached this point in the Master Plan development process and how the project will move forward. This FAQ can be viewed here:

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We asked residents to complete open-ended Feedback forms to provide us with their likes and dislikes with the conceptual designs.

For residents unable to attend the Open House, we mounted the display boards at Vista for their viewing (including the online view) and continued to collect hard copy or online feedback forms through August 13. We received a total 117 responses. All of the comments received can be viewed at this web link:

The Facilities Committee reviewed the feedback form responses and conveyed to each other additional feedback gleaned from conversations with residents at the Open House. Based on this feedback, the committee submitted a number of suggestions to HCM for adjustments to the conceptual plans. The feedback also suggested that some residents still misunderstand the nature of conceptual plans for future potential implementation and the nature of our reserve funding to pay for repairs and replacement. The following supplemental FAQ was written to provide further information about the master planning process.

We are now approaching the end of the process for developing the Genesee Recreational Sites Master Plan.

The next step is for HCM to incorporate the suggested changes based on the Open House feedback and complete the Master Plan. Additional information in the final plan - beyond the details presented in the conceptual designs for the Open House – will include: detailed cost estimates for each design element, elevations and 3D renderings. The full list of Master Plan content deliverables is detailed in HCM’s Work Plan and Deliverables. In early October, HCM will deliver a draft of the Master Plan book to the Facilities Committee for a final review by the committee members. Once that review is complete, HCM will finalize the plan and deliver it to the Foundation in printed and electronic form.

How does the Facilities Committee imagine that the Recreational Sites Master Plan will be implemented? We recognize that in the short-term Genesee’s Board of Directors is focused on repair projects with a commitment to preserve and protect our community and its assets. They are proceeding with repairs to the two pools and to our courts at Vista. A Master Plan is not a detailed design for implementation. Design details will be part of future implementation efforts when the replacements are needed. This plan provides rough estimates of costs to future boards with a tool to evaluate how to proceed with repair and replacement decisions. It is expected that individual components of the plan will be decided when we are ready to deal with repairs and replacements for specific assets. The Facilities Committee has tried to model the decision making that we hope future boards will undertake to get community feedback when significant dollar decisions are at hand.

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