Club Update: September 25, 2020

Dear Member,

This is your Captain’s log update for September 25, 2020, reporting from the all-new bridge of the Club at 750 University Avenue. Construction continues in Norwood, with paving on the east parking lot commencing yesterday. It will be ready for member parking as of Monday, 9/28. I never thought asphalt could look so good, but it really does.

New Notes on Norwood
I was on the sun deck Wednesday evening looking out over the front parking lot and it was great to see so many members using the front curb (adjacent to the building) as it was designed: An attended pick-up and drop-off zone for skaters entering and exiting the facility. There might have been 8 cars lined up, with members patiently waiting for their skaters, and every car attended. We knew this was an important feature for Club members and it felt good to see it working as designed. Members have also been respecting the ADA reserved parking. Thank you, everyone.

BUT, it does look like we will need to install speed bumps across the front of the building to discourage speeding. This is clearly a very sensitive and dense area with a lot of pedestrian traffic and cars backing in and out of parking spaces. I saw two close calls myself of a car coming close to backing into a car speeding by, and I received a few other complaints. I somehow don’t think signage will be the answer here. Speed bumps can be annoying, especially if you drive a sports car that is low to the ground. But the safety of the membership and helping to proactively avoiding parking lot accidents needs to be the priority.

We have hired a cleaning service for overnight cleaning of the facility to keep it as new and fresh as it was on September 8th. We are still waiting on the final word from Tony as to how he plans to commute to work in Norwood, whether by train or by car. We don’t have a steeple from which to hang the appropriate number of lanterns indicating his final plan, but I do want to thank members Christie Allen-Piper and Robin Umbley for personally assisting Tony in the research and purchase of a car. Tony will continue to be a very welcome member of the management team, and his scrupulous daytime attention to keeping the facility clean and all of us as safe as possible.

Last Call
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 late Sunday, September 27th and we must be completely out of the building before October 11, 2020. 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.

Do Not Forget!
Attention all skaters that are scheduled to skate on the West Rink in Norwood! Please report to Norwood on Monday and not to 1240 Soldiers Field Road. Your skating experience is now on our new home ice.

Welcoming All Club Members
Please set Sunday, October 4th, as the day that members may return to enjoying the inside of the Club. It’s been a little quiet without you, so I am looking forward to being in the same building as the Club’s members for the first time in maybe 5 years. All members will need to have their temperatures checked and to complete the self-certification health questionnaire before entering. The certification process will be online by the end of next week after having tested out an app for it during the Boston Open. You will get more specific information on that next week. We will also require all members now to strictly follow the mask and social distancing policies established for coaches and skaters. That will mean limitations on the number of people in a meeting room or the Frieling Club Lounge. We are hoping that members will self-police and not enter an already-full space. The furniture will be set up to support social distancing, and as long as no one takes it upon themselves to re-arrange the furniture, we should be good. We will also designate specific areas of the Performance Center’s seating for socially distanced seating. This will reduce the need to clean the entire arena bowl each day and evening. That is not a cost any of us want to bear.

Special Note: The only thing that could upend this plan is Governor Charlie Baker’s evolving restrictions on building capacity during the pandemic. We are closely watching what gets posted, and revised restrictions may include some rollbacks in building capacities and so forth. We will know more as next week unfolds, and will communicate accordingly. If government policies won’t allow us to loosen up our own policies for building capacity, please don’t shoot the messenger! But from what I am reading as of today, 9.25.2020, I do not think we will have any issues.

The Club Through Another’s Eyes
The Boston Open began yesterday, and even with the east parking lot being paved, construction crews here and there, and a slew of coaches and skaters entering the facility for the first time, the day went very well. Thanks to the Club’s Events team, Leslie Graham and Kelly Flaherty, for leading the event; and to everyone on the Club management team for supporting them, and all our visitors, in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities. A heartfelt thank you as well to all of the Club member volunteers, including our teams and the Club’s coaches. It is absolutely outstanding to see our community come together for a common purpose, and to both welcome and support our visiting skaters and coaches. What is also outstanding is to hear the feedback about the Club’s facility from our new visitors from other facilities and rinks. They can truly appreciate the significance of what the Club has created because they skate in cold, dark rinks designed and managed for hockey. It may sound dramatic, but it’s the simple truth. The Club and its members are incredibly fortunate for what our original members did in 1938 and 1939 when they opened the first facility in Brighton. One day after we too are gone, future Club members will likely say the same of all of us.

Which Brings Me to…
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated seats this past week to support this very special and one-of-a-kind facility. We’ll be proud to see your names and those of your loved ones on the seats, and equally proud to see the names of these recent members donating $5,000 or more on the donor wall in the main lobby. We now have 384 seats donated as we continue to push forward to our goal of 500 donated seats. Help us reach our goal. To name a seat, click here or feel free to contact Ben Anderson. Ben is not quite the famous Julie of Time Life Books standing by to take your order. But he is here to assist you with your donation and with also choosing your seats. You can find Ben at ben.anderson@scboston.org.

You Say Goodbye
I say hello. Hello, hello, hello. I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello. Ok. You may have been expecting some sad and wistful lyrics this week to commemorate the passing of our time at 1240 Soldiers Field Road. There were so many running through my head from Karla Bonoff to Andrea Bocelli. Trust me! But the truth is that 1240 Soldiers Field Road gave all it could to the Club, and for many years longer than it likely should have. We have honored that as best we could. For those of you interested in a memento from the building, please immediately reach out to Katharine Steeger at katharine.steeger@scboston.org. Members should realize that the Club no longer owns the building. We sold it two years ago and have enjoyed it rent-free for the past two years. We don’t have the right to dismantle something we don’t own and give it to our members. But there may be something we can do if there is sufficient interest to warrant the effort in the short amount of time we have left.

In the meantime, you say goodbye and I say hello. Hello to this amazing new home in Norwood and to the Club’s next 100 years. We intend to make them very special indeed.

Sincerely,

Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director