Club Update: September 18, 2020

Dear Member,

This is your Captain’s log update for September 18, 2020, reporting from the all-new bridge of the Club at 750 University Avenue. Construction continues in Norwood, with all items still on schedule to wrap up before the end of the month. It hasn’t always been comfortable these past two weeks working with the construction teams. Literally. This morning my office is easily a stifling 85 degrees while the thermostat reads 68. This may not be a long email. I will need fresh air before too much longer!

Additional Notes on Norwood
As a reminder for Club members arriving in Norwood for the first time, please know that the curb along the front of the building has been planned as a loading and unloading area for attended cars. You may not park and leave your car unattended in this area. Unfortunately, it is not Doris Day parking. The spots across from the front entrance will eventually get signage that allows for temporary parking for up to 30 minutes. Both of these assignments were planned and made for the long-sought convenience of parents picking up and dropping off their skaters. Longer-term parking is easily available on either side of the building.

EXCEPT, that the paving of the east parking lot will begin next week and all members must park on the west side (near the street entrance) or across the front of the building. The construction trailer is being taken away, and there is no more sure of a sign that construction is coming to a close. I will miss seeing the project team after spending two years with them. But I won’t miss having the construction of the building on my plate. I am sure that Joe, Jon, John, the building committee members and others all agree with me.

We have begun outside rentals in the facility’s east, multi-purpose rink with late-night adult hockey. Players arrive at the Club through the east lobby and are not permitted anywhere in the facility except in the east lobby, the East Rink, and the East Rink’s locker rooms and restrooms. Club members should respect the separation as well, and not look to access the East Rink when they see that hockey has been scheduled. As I think everyone knows, hockey revenue is an important source of revenue in supporting operations at the new facility. We are in the enviable position of being the figure-skating landlord with hockey tenants. Except for Detroit and Philadelphia, no other clubs in the country can enjoy the security that owning your own facility provides. Of course, those clubs also don’t have the risk involved in owning and operating their own facility. Which brings us back to the importance of having hockey revenue as part of the overall cash flow of the Club.

Being a Good Neighbor and Community Member
Community is important both inside and outside of the Club. We met with the Norwood Recreation Department this week, and we are planning some small events together so that local residents can get to know us as their new neighbor. These might include a trunk-or-treat event for town residents in the Club’s parking lot closer to Halloween, and a holiday open house for local residents to register to skate and tour the facility. Aside from some folks in the local youth hockey organization, the positive feedback from the town’s leadership and residents has been overwhelmingly positive and welcoming. I continue to rest easy that we found the exact right town and the exact right piece of property for the Club’s new home. Even if it was a 10-year odyssey! All’s well that ends well.

Welcoming All Club Members
Another huge thank you to all Club members for patiently waiting until the end of the month to come inside and really explore the new building. We all truly appreciate your patience and understanding while the building is completed and we minimize member interactions with the construction workers. I personally appreciate all of you who have directly let me know it’s not been too bad.

Club Exhibitions
Beginning this evening, the parents of all exhibiting skaters are welcome to watch their skater perform from their rink-side, warm-up spot. We will be following the same policy that was established earlier this summer at 1240 Soldiers Field Road. Parents must wear masks, and they may only stay and watch their own skaters. Please leave the facility immediately after your skater is done exhibiting. An email went out to all families outlining the policy in greater detail. Good luck to everyone skating tonight. I heard we have 32 exhibitors!

September 28, 2020
We are asking every member to clean out their lockers and remove all of their belongings from 1240 Soldiers Field Road by no later than Monday, September 28th. After that, the Club is truly not responsible for any items that may be lost or stolen. Jon’s team will begin decommissioning the building immediately afterwards, and we must be completely out of the building before October 11, 2020. I have no fitting lyrics this week to express my own emotions about this, but give me a week. We are leaving the longtime family home for a new and larger family home. It is a time of mixed emotions for certain. But it is also a time for practicality. Everything must be out of 1240 Soldiers Field Road before September 28th or it will be yours no more. Thank you.

Seat Campaign
I hope folks have been getting to know Ben Anderson, our new coordinator for The Next 100 Years campaign. Ben is a recent college graduate, and a young officer in the Yarmouth Ice Club. He is already a tremendous asset, and very eager to help existing donors choose their specific seats in the Performance Center. Ben is equally happy to work with you in making a donation or pledge for new seats. Ben can be found at ben.anderson@scboston.org. Since announcing our drive to secure a total of 500 seat donations by the end of September, Ben has let me know that we are at 72% of our goal with 364 seats named. That leaves 136 seats still available for donation over the next two weeks. If you have been planning on donating seats, but just haven’t found the time yet, now would be the perfect time to demonstrate your belief in what the Club is creating for our current generation of skaters, and the many generations that will follow.

People Make Things Happen
On Sunday, I had the good fortune to tour the new facility with one of Boston’s greatest and most legendary real estate developers. He was also the individual who named University Avenue when originally considering the area for development as a science and technology park. It was incredibly satisfying to see the facility through his eyes, especially because he was so impressed with all that we have created for our members, and for the sport. In comparing our accomplishment here to the many office towers and other properties he developed in and around Boston, he emphasized again and again that things don’t just happen. PEOPLE make them happen. I don’t think truer words were ever spoken. Things happen because we make them happen. A core group of Club members have made just about all of this new facility happen. We are turning to the larger Club membership to help finish the last bits of the project, and to join the growing group of members who are the people making this particular project happen.

They say it takes a village. But it may also take a skating club.

Sincerely,

Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director