Club Update: October 2, 2020

Dear Member,

This is your Captain’s log update for October 2, 2020, reporting from the all-new bridge of the Club at 750 University Avenue. Construction continues in Norwood, with the number of items on the construction punch list fluctuating between 90 and 120 or so. The construction managers keep punching away, and the Club keeps finding additional small details. The list started at over 600 items so we are actually doing pretty well.

COVID-19 Update
One of our Club coaches tested positive for the COVID-19 virus this week. They removed themselves from the Club once they thought they might have symptoms and have not been on-site for a few days. They will continue to stay off-site while they recuperate. The coach has notified all of their students and others with whom they have been in close contact. Some of those folks who feel they are at possible risk from contact are also getting tested and remain off-site while waiting for their results. I know this coach and their safety practices while at the Club. They are scrupulous about wearing their mask, social distancing and demonstrating concern for themselves and those around them. And while we know of this situation, I think we need to expect that there have been other possible situations of the same nature that we likely don’t know about. Here at the Club and elsewhere in our lives. That is why it is so critical that none of us let our guard down when we are at the Club and when we are away from the Club. Our best protection is to each take responsibility for ourselves: Full masks, social distancing, and good hand hygiene at all times. Please remind your skaters who don’t read these emails. I will further advise the membership if anyone else in this coach’s Club network tests positive and there is cause for concern beyond their own immediate well-being and quick recovery. Please also let Katharine know if you or your skater were to test positive so we can know if we have a potentially larger issue at hand. All outreach will be kept in confidence unless you give us permission otherwise.

After consulting with Katharine and others, we think it best we postpone opening the Club to our members for one more week. Given all of our distractions this past week with getting the building completed and other pressing matters, I don’t think the building is ready. Furniture still needs to be placed, arena seating marked, signs posted and other small details to make sure the environment will support proper social distancing. After that, it will still be on our members to self-police as we don’t have enough staff to fully cover a building of this size at all times. But it will also be good to see what the next week brings and whether any other members test positive. Kids are heading back to school and state numbers are rising again. I’m feeling the need to be more rather than less cautious. I am both the messenger and the decision-maker on this. I hope you still won’t shoot me.

New Notes on Norwood
It looks like we need both speed bumps and additional lighting for the road across the front of the facility. For very obvious reasons, this is an active pedestrian center, with kids and parents crossing the sidewalk to cars at all times. Why would anyone speed through here?? Please save your speeding for University Avenue and Rt. 128, like I do. Additional lighting will definitely help in the evenings, especially with the shortened days. We will jump on that and see what options are available to ameliorate the situation. But even then, everyone needs to slow down, look left and right for cars exiting and skaters crossing, and proceed with caution each and every day.

Closed Parking Lot
On Monday 10/5 and Tuesday 10/6, the parking lot in front of the facility will be closed in its entirety. Orange cones will be in place, and are meant to prevent traffic cross the front of the building and parking in those spots. Please do not remove the cones or drive over or around them. It won’t be safe to have your car parked or idling in front of the building anyway. Thank you.

Electronic Registration for Health Forms
We will be introducing an electronic system for submitting the daily health forms starting next week. A separate email will go out next week explaining the system to the membership. In the short-term, members will have an option of using their phone or the paper system to register. But we hope everyone will quickly convert to using their phones as it will make storing the data much easier and more efficient.

Final Migration
Tony has arrived in Norwood! Yesterday was his first day. For those of you who guessed he would arrive by train, you are correct. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of a car in his future, but for the immediate term, Tony is commuting from Brighton to the Rt.128 commuter rail station and a member of the Club management team is picking him up. Tony shared with me this morning that he likes everything he sees, and has wasted no time in adding to the overnight cleaning provided by our outside service. Dave and I even think Frannie, will soon be here next. It’s a good feeling when the family stays together.

New Components Class
The Saturday class from 9:00am to 9:30am that was on the schedule as the Artistry Class is being renamed as a Components Class. It is going to be taught in tandem with both Olga Ganicheva and Adam Blake working together for all Club skaters. I can’t think of a better opportunity for all of our Club skaters to add an extra and very important element to their training. The class is open to every skater. If I hadn’t given my skates away when I sold my house in California, I swear I would take this class. I might not be able to keep up, but I would take it just to say I had taken a class from these two world-class coaches. An email will go out to everyone early next week with added information and the link to register. As an added incentive to take a skate on the wild side, we are making the class free to everyone for the month of October. Remember that old Life cereal commercial? Try it. You’ll like it.

Which Brings Me to…
Another appreciative thank you to everyone who donated seats this past week to support this very special and one-of-a-kind facility. That includes my senior prom date Katie and her husband Bill, who visited yesterday. They were amazed at what we are creating here. They also brought cookies with the Club logo for our coaches, our front office team, and luckily, for me too. (Club-branded cookies get you pretty far these days.) I would digress about how much fun Katie, I and our friends had growing up at the Club in the late 70’s but I am supposed to be updating today’s membership about the importance of the seat campaign. But the two are actually connected. Because 30 or 40 years from today, our current members are likely to feel same way Katie and I feel about such a special institution. But I encourage you not to wait to show your appreciation and respect for the institution. Become a very visible and permanent part of the Club’s important legacy by donating your seat(s) today. thenext100years.org/takeyourseat

With gratitude,

Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director