The Grove - November 3rd 2016
“The Grove” Committee
Nov 3, 2016
The Grove Committee met on Thursday, Nov 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.
Members Present: Garry Regan (Chair), Rick Hall, and Phil Stella
Members Absent: Pat Andrzejczyk, Dave Hoehnen, and Blythe DiCicco
Also in Attendance: Patsy Mills (Council Member), Bill Thomas (Recreation Director), Diane Wolgamuth (Director of Administration), and Ed Parker (MELD Architects)
Mr. Regan opened the meeting, recognizing resident Shirley Jay who recently passed away. He noted that Shirley was a long-time member of the Citizens Advisory Committee and an avid supporter of the Village and The Grove. Shirley volunteered to be the Citizens Advisory liaison to The Grove Committee and attended most summer programs. Mr. Regan noted that Shirley and her enthusiasm will be greatly missed.
Band Shell Update
Ed Parker from MELD Architects provided the Committee with an update on the plans for the band shell. He advised that he is working on construction documents now and intends to advertise the project for bids next week. Bids will be due back during the first week of December.
Mr. Parker shared the original conceptual rendering of the Grove band shell and contrasted it to the current rendering. He explained various ways the design has been adjusted to achieve cost savings, including removing some amount of slope in the walls and reducing the size of the walls. Mr. Parker described that Phase 2 of the project includes the north wall which will be part of the green/storage room. The Committee discussed the advantages to the open ceiling in the proposed structure, including the ability to hide lights, sound equipment and a future built-in projection screen for movies. Mr. Thomas asked if birds nesting in the structure would be a problem and Mr. Parker advised that a screen will be installed to prevent birds and other animals from getting into the open ceiling of the structure.
Mr. Parker stated that he and his partner met with an acoustical engineer who made several suggestions that have been incorporated into the new design. These include splaying the back wall, changing the arch and selecting stone materials that have undulating edges to help distribute sound. Mr. Parker said he also added some landscaping and lighting in front of the walls to soften the look. Mr. Parker described the difference in cost in using block wall finished with a laminate versus a split-face block that he felt was too institutional. He found a stone product that undulates to bounce sound and is less expensive than using the stone laminate. Mr. Parker stated that the wood being specified is anticipated to be a clear-stained red cedar. At its October meeting, Mr. Parker reviewed the design with the Architectural Review Board and made some changes to address concerns about the size of the walls. Mr. Hall stated that he is more concerned about the site lines for the performers and suggested that the wall be high enough to hide the performers.
The Committee discussed that the structure is 35 ft. high at its peak and should provide some limited relief to the sun-glare issue. The Committee also discussed the possibility of moving to a later start time for programs to help with this issue.
Mr. Parker advised that Phase 1 will include a generic lighting package with house lights and some spot and landscape lighting. Mr. Parker added that he is still talking to lighting professionals to determine if upgraded lighting, including an LED/color fixture, should be included as an alternate to the bid.
Mr. Stella asked about hanging lights and speakers and stated that they could disrupt the clean lines of the structure. Mr. Parker responded that keeping the roof open will allow flexibility. Mr. Hall stated that, to be effective, lighting will have to be moved further forward. The Committee discussed that, in the future, light towers may need to be installed east of the paved circle. Mr. Hall suggested that Mr. Parker make sure the basic package will light the performers and that one or two lights be placed on the outside corners. The Committee agreed that the lighting included in Phase 1 is temporary and lighting will be addressed in a future phase. Mr. Parker advised that necessary conduit and wiring will be included in Phase 1 to facilitate future light and sound needs.
Ms. Wolgamuth distributed the draft agenda for the Nov 14 public meeting. She described that the public meeting is a requirement for the County’s Supplemental Grant Program and asked the Committee members to plan to attend. Mrs. Mills offered to assist at the meeting to ensure that all attendees sign in upon arrival.
Ms. Wolgamuth distributed a copy of the Grove sledding rules previously developed and asked the Committee if they had any suggested changes. If not, the Service Dept. will again post the signs and is planning to place snow fencing halfway down the hill in the area of the stone seating to ensure that people are aware of the potential hazard. The Committee discussed that the hill is not steep enough in that area to build much sledding momentum and did not think that the stone seating would cause a problem. There were no suggested changes to the signage.
Review of 2016 Season
Mr. Regan stated that he heard nothing but good things about the 2016 season. Ms. Wolgamuth distributed the Recap & Evaluation report prepared by Emily Scheiderich, one of the Grove summer interns. In the report, Emily provides her overview of the season and suggestions for the future. Ms. Wolgamuth also distributed the Grove 2016 programming budget, showing amounts spent on performers, sound and lighting, signage, printing and marketing.
The Committee discussed attendance during the season and questioned whether the concession stand was a success. Mr. Regan stated that he thought the concession staff did a great job and it was good to have food available even though many people still bring picnic baskets. Mr. Thomas stated that concession sales averaged about $100 per night, with sales of over $800 on fireworks night. Mr. Regan asked if a decision had been made yet about keeping Cruise Night and fireworks on the north side of town. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that, at this point, the Administration is leaning toward returning Cruise Night to the center of town and keeping fireworks at the north end. Mr. Regan advised that he has contacted a 73-piece patriotic band that he believes would be outstanding for fireworks night.
Mr. Stella suggested several local venues that he thought would be great resources for performers. The Committee also discussed several performances from 2016 that should be repeated in 2017. Mr. Regan reported that he is speaking with people from Karamu Theatre and the Gates Mills Players about staging productions at The Grove. Mrs. Mills stated that, overall, she thought all programs were very good last season. Mr. Regan added that he saw many people using the trail throughout the summer who stopped to read the schedule posted at the entrance to The Grove. Similarly, Mr. Regan stated that he saw many people view the schedule that was posted in the Civic Center parking lot near Heinen’s Grocery.
Planning for 2017 Season.
Ms. Wolgamuth provided a proposed schedule and programming budget for 2017. The Committee discussed only programming Grove events on Friday and Saturday nights as the Village is hoping to expand the Gazebo concerts on Thursday evenings at the center of town. Mr. Regan advised that he would like one or two Thursdays at The Grove to accommodate the schedules of some of the groups he is hoping to book.
Ms. Wolgamuth suggested that the Committee revisit the possibility of moving programs indoors to Reserve Hall in case of bad weather. The question has been raised several times by residents and Mayor Bodnar would like to consider it. Mr. Regan stated that it is easier to move some programs than others, and the Committee agreed to again discuss the logistics of providing a back-up location for some or all Grove programs.
The Committee agreed to meet again after the Nov 14 Public Meeting to further discuss the 2017 season. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.