March 20, 2020
I am writing to provide you with an update on Club activities and planning with regard to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. As I am sure everyone is certainly aware, we are all in a very fluid situation as new data becomes available, and federal, state and local governments respond. In the Club’s long history, I am not sure it has encountered anything quite like the uncharted territory in which we are now navigating.
Through all of this, I remind myself that The Skating Club of Boston is not just a rink. We are a long-standing and highly respected institution, a proud member of the Boston community, and a founding member of U.S. Figure Skating. We may operate an ice rink, but as a community and an organization, we are much more than that. And I believe our actions through this time must also speak to that. The Club is managing the situation calmly, with reason and diligence, an abundance of caution, and an eye for balancing the needs and demands of the larger community with the more immediate wants and needs of our own community.
I understand that many, if not all of you, may have specific questions. To that end:
1240 Soldiers Field Road
The team at 1240 Soldiers Field Road has been busy, and suffice to say, the Club has been scrubbed! The smell of bleach is in the air, and Tony and Dave have left no surface untouched. Unlike some rinks in the area, we are not taking down the ice to save money so we will be as quickly and easily ready to go once we make the decision to re-open. Once open, we will continue to operate under a refreshed guiding principle of keeping the Club as clean as possible for the new reality in which we now live.
The Club’s management team at 1240 Soldiers Field Road is a critical part of our Club community, and we plan to continue their employment without interruption, even if it means varying some roles and tasks in the short term. This includes everyone who you see on a day-to-day basis. Health care and other benefits will continue as well. The Club will of course follow all new laws and guidelines for all of its employees to provide support for those folks for whom there is no work, are sick themselves, or are caring for a sick family member. It is important that we do our part to help minimize the stress and anxiety of everyone on our team during an already-anxious period.
Club Fees and Contracted Ice
As previously noted in an earlier email, dinner obligations have been reduced and in customary fashion, will be reconciled to your account towards the end of the season. With the cancelling of Ice Chips, all ticket obligations will also be waived at the end of the season. For those members who have contracted ice for March and would like a refund, please contact Mary Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can help support the Club’s ongoing expenses through this time by fulfilling your contracted ice commitments for March, the Club will happily provide you with a tax letter acknowledging your donation. We appreciate any support you can provide during this time, while also acknowledging this is an unpredictable time for everyone. We will advise you further regarding April billing, once we have a better read on our plans for April operations.
Unfortunately, work at the Club’s construction site was halted this morning after a delivery person who had been in contact with multiple workers was admitted to the hospital. While they await test results, the job site will remain closed. This could be for up to two weeks. Independent of this morning’s action, we had already cancelled tours and all non-critical operations on the site. Weekly project meetings are now conducted remotely, and all workers are now verbally screened by the sub-contractors before entering the building. The town of Norwood continues to be supportive, and barring a state shutdown of all construction sites or other incidents, we are cautiously optimistic we will be able to re-open construction before the end of the month. But this too is a very fluid situation. This and possible further job delays now will almost certainly affect our currently planned July opening.
Club Re-Opening is Fluid
The Club will continue to remain closed until March 29th. We are currently exploring the best options for when we re-open, and what sort of schedule and parameters should be set to best and most fairly serve all coaches and members. We are collecting data from Club coaches on their students and skating levels, and will work from there. With regard to a date when the Club can re-open, we will continue to evaluate all federal, state and local guidelines regarding management of the spread of the virus in making that decision. While it is not in the Club’s best interests to remain closed, it is in the best interests of the larger community that we do our part to be part of the solution and not the problem. We’ll continue to manage this balance as best we can. At present, please do not consider March 29th a re-opening date. The situation is still too fluid for that. Rather, March 29th is a current re-opening objective.
We know the Club being presently closed is a tremendous disappointment to everyone. This includes everyone in management as well! We have been brainstorming for ways to help keep our members – young and older alike – amused and involved, even while not on the ice. The Club’s weekly planner will continue, but with different sorts of information and interactive invitations. Look for coming attractions starting tomorrow! Club social media will also include additional ideas, and as many interactive opportunities as practical. We invite everyone to stay connected and virtually support each other as we find our way forward together.
Please continue to keep yourselves and your families safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Club again as soon as it is safe and practical to re-open.
Now wash your hands!