The Grove - April 11th 2016
“The Grove” Committee
April 11, 2016
The Grove Committee met on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.
Members Present: Garry Regan (Chair), Pat Andrzejczyk, Rick Hall, Dave Hoehnen, and Ron DiNardo
Members Absent: Blythe DiCicco
Also in Attendance: Steve Jerome (Council Representative), Diane Wolgamuth (Director of Administration), Bill Thomas (Recreation Director), Shirley Jay (Representative Member of Citizens Advisory Committee), Angela Littman (Resident and potential new Committee member), and Phil Stella (Resident and potential new Committee member)
Mr. Regan opened the meeting and introduced Angela Littman and Phil Stella. He stated that they are here to check out the meeting and see if they want to join the Grove Committee. He also welcomed Shirley Jay who is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). Mr. Regan had previously addressed the CAC and invited a representative to attend Grove meetings. Mrs. Jay volunteered for this additional duty.
The Committee viewed an updated a u-tube video of The Grove created by Committee member Rick Hall. The video has been added to The Grove page of the Village website. Mr. Regan suggested that if members are making presentations to other groups, they utilize the video and the current PowerPoint presentation, which will also be added to the web page. The Committee commended Mr. Hall on the video and Mr. Hall advised that it could be enhanced as we gather more video and photographs from the upcoming season.
Infrastructure Update/ Concession Trailer
Mr. Regan advised that the first row of stone seating has been installed and work on the pavers will begin next week. Work to pave the service drive and create a pad for the concession trailer has been included in this year’s road program and is expected to be completed before the start of the season. Mr. Regan described that the concession trailer needs 50 amps of electrical service, so rather than spend the money to bring power to the parking lot, the concession trailer will be sited on the north side, near the power panel. The selected spot will require a minimal amount of tree removal. (A site plan showing the location is attached).
Mr. Regan stated that Bill Thomas has determined that the concession trailer has its own water tanks, so we will have running water, alleviating the Board of Health concerns. Mr. Thomas intends to use the pool concession staff to work during Grove events. Mr. Thomas reported that he is still looking into menu items and is considering pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, water and soft drinks, and possibly ice cream. The Committee discussed that Hershey’s Ice Cream has been a regular vendor at The Grove and whether selling ice cream would compete with them. Mr. Regan reminded the Committee that we also have a vendor that sells lemon ice. Mr. Thomas stated that he would develop a concession menu and share it with the Committee at the next meeting.
Mr. DiNardo asked how the concession trailer would be lit. Mr. Thomas stated that the concession trailer has its own lights. Mr. Regan added that additional outside lighting could be added, if needed.
The Committee discussed concession signage and the sandwich board signs that were put up on event days last year. Mr. Stella suggested putting up a sign at Parkview Pool listing upcoming events. Mr. Regan stated that last year the complete schedule was posted at the pool and that will be done again this year.
Mr. Regan reported that work is also being done to deepen the parking spaces along North Commons. There will be the same number of spaces and the work is expected to be complete before the start of the season.
The Committee reviewed the season schedule and the letter from Garry Regan that will be included in the upcoming Voice of the Village (copies are attached). Ms. Wolgamuth advised that the VOV was expected to be out by the end of April, an email blast is being prepared and the postcard will be mailed to the entire School District near the end of May.
Mr. Regan suggested that Committee members think about dates that they want to volunteer at The Grove and let Ms. Wolgamuth know. We will have our seasonal staff that will make sure everything is ready to go, but volunteers can supplement. Mr. Thomas and Mr. Hall advised that they would both work on movie night. Mr. Jerome stated that he will plan to be at all events. Mr. Regan suggested that people attending the shows be asked to provide feedback and send a note. He had done that at several events last year and several people sent messages.
Mr. Thomas stated that we would probably make more money if we had volunteers working the concession stand. Mr. Hoehnen stated that he thought it made more sense to have someone who knows what they are doing. Mr. DiNardo asked whose budget these costs would come from. Mr. Thomas responded that it would be covered by the Recreation concession budget. Mr. Regan stated that we are not trying to make money but, rather, provide a service to our patrons. We are going to break even, at best. He suggested the prices be increased from the pool concession prices as The Grove predominantly has an adult audience. Mr. Jerome added that the concessions will still be less expensive than the food trucks.
Mr. Regan reported that we have two quality students that are interested. One is already working for the Recreation Department as a summer camp counsellor and both may be hired to allow them to alternate days or weekends in order to cover all events. Mr. Regan added that the staff will start in June, before events begin, and will be in contact with all the artists.
Band Shell Options
Mr. Regan stated that, when the Committee met in December, Bob Henninge from Theatre Technology Group, made a presentation about band shells. Since then, we have reached out to the architect that designed the new Community Room, Ed Parker from MELD Architects, and he has provided several concepts.
The Committee reviewed two band shell designs (copies attached). Mr. Regan described the first design, referred to as the Sculptural Wall Band Shell. This design incorporates the green room/storage room on the north side to allow staging and back access to the small hill should somebody want to use it. The walls could be used for upcoming event signage and/or donor recognition. The walls also act as a backstage area for performers. Mrs. Jay asked about lighting. Mr. Regan responded that these designs show lighting, but that is a future phase. Ms. Wolgamuth commented that the Sculptured Wall Band Shell design is ideal for phasing. If there are budgeting concerns, it allows the Village to construct only the shell the first year and add the green/storage room in the future.
Mr. Regan presented the second design, the Peaked Roof Band Shell, and described that its green room/storage room is at the rear of the shell and would require some digging. Both shell options have a roof line that is half way across the stage circle. Mr. Jerome stated that he agrees that the green room needs to be by the stage and suggested that storage be at a different location, out of sight. “It may be more convenient, but It’s taking up a lot of space—the green room and storage.”
Mr. Hoehnen stated, “I think aesthetics are important. In my mind, the first one is so much more aesthetically appealing.” Mr. DiNardo stated, “There is some structure missing. You are not going to get a curved piece of wood. There’s got to be a metal truss or something underneath.” Mr. Hoehnen responded, “You think an architect is going to show you that picture and it can’t be built?” Mr. DiNardo responded, “Yes”. Mr. Hoehnen responded, “I don’t think so.” Mr. Regan stated, “I agree with Dave. If this guy is showing us something that can’t be done…” Mr. Hall interjected, “It’s possible, but it’s more expensive.” Mr. Regan responded that we are looking at the whole thing for a budget around $300,000.” Mr. DiNardo stated, “Just FYI, we paid almost $300,000 for those little bathrooms.”
Mr. Regan explained that the suggested plan right now is to put both versions on boards and post them at The Grove this summer and seek input. Mr. DiNardo stated, “I am just looking at this from an architectural point of view. You are going to need some structure to hold up that roof. Possibly to save some money, you could use curved trusses out of metal to hang your lights.” Ms. Wolgamuth stated, “I think that’s the plan. The architect showed us a material that looks like natural wood but is less expensive.” Ron DiNardo responded, “If you are going to do this, we need to show that structure, so people can see it.” Ms. Wolgamuth responded that she did not think that people seeing the concept photos were going to care about the material used in the underlying structure. Mr. Regan added that, “Whatever it is, it is going to be natural-looking. It is wood or wood-like.” Mr. DiNardo stated, “It plays into the acoustics too. We have to look at that.” Mr. Regan responded, “We’re not at that stage yet.” Mr. DiNardo stated, “I am just throwing out things for you to write down to look at later.”
Mr. Hall stated that he was worried that the curved wall version was more biased. Mr. Regan asked, “How so?” Mr. Hall described that the practical execution of the curved wall band shell will look much different. The peaked roof design will look more like the concept because the lights and other structure—“the messy stuff”—can be hidden behind the wooden truss. Mr. Hall added that he loves the curved wall version, but he believes it represents a more Pollyanna view. “There is a lot more open space in this one and you can’t hide lights as easily. There is more hidden space in the peaked roof.” Ms. Wolgamuth agreed but stated that, in her view, much like the light bars that were added to Reserve Hall, adding a truss or light bars would not necessarily detract from the design. She stated that people coming to a performance expect to see light and sound equipment.
The Committee continued to discuss the need to design the band shell to accommodate future lighting and sound equipment and agreed that it was important to include professionals at the early stages. Mr. Regan stated, “All we are trying to do is get the concept of the band shell out there. We haven’t yet asked about these details although the architect has said he will bring experts to the table. “We are not going to do something that, a year later, we will have to redo.”
[Subsequent to the meeting, Architect Ed Parker provided the attached sketches and explanation of three options for the curved roof shell construction that will allow for the integration of lighting and sound equipment].
Mr. Stella asked what the architect was told we needed to store. Mr. Regan responded, “Tables, chairs, canopies, and eventually more equipment.” Mr. Stella asked about the purpose for putting up the designs at The Grove. Mr. Regan responded that they were intended to solicit input from people and get people thinking about it. Mr. Stella questioned the value of the information that would be gathered. He suggested that there will be many different opinions. Mr. Stella suggested showing only one version, stating, “Let’s wait until we have something a whole lot more like it’s going to look and just tell them, here’s the future, because half of those people are not voters or taxpayers anyway. I’d rather put something in the VOV when it is much closer so they can see what it is going to look like.”
Mr. Jerome agreed, stating that if we show this version and then the cost is much different, we will have to say, well if you want it, that’s what it will cost.
Mr. Regan stated that over the past two months, he has made presentations to a number of community organizations and is going to the School Board later this month and Rotary in June. He added, “We made a presentation to the Cleveland Foundation last week and it went well. They dole out about $95 million annually, mostly from donors. They will go to those donors and see if there is any interest in making a grant to The Grove.” Mr. Hall asked if we went with a particular request. Mr. Regan responded that our hook to get in was to ask for their guidance and today we got a list of places that we could contact that might have some interest. Mr. Stella asked if Cuyahoga Arts and Culture had been contacted. Mr. Regan stated that he spoke with them and is waiting for a meeting date. Mr. Stella suggested telling them that we will allow smoking at The Grove to generate more tax dollars.
Ms. Wolgamuth described that the Cleveland Foundation suggested creating a “Friends Of” group for The Grove, stating that many donors do not want to write a check to a municipality. Mr. Stella agreed and added that part of the beauty of the sculptured wall design is that the walls can be used to honor donors. Mr. Jerome suggested reaching out to the Friends of the Library to see how they were set up. Mr. Regan stated, “It was nice to get on their radar screen.”
Mr. Regan reminded everyone to let Ms. Wolgamuth know which dates they can work and suggested that another meeting to get caught up be scheduled in late May. He added that, by then, we should have summer staff in place.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Director of Administration