Grove Minutes October 10th 2012
“The Grove” Committee
October 10, 2012 Meeting Minutes
The Grove Committee met on October 10, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Conference Room of the Civic Center.
Also in Attendance:
Mayor Bruce G. Rinker
Diane Wolgamuth, Director of Administration
Bill Thomas, Recreation Director
James McKnight, McKnight Associates, Ltd. (Landscape Architect)
Introduction of Committee Members
The members of the Committee, all Mayfield Village residents, introduced themselves. Garry Regan lives on Walnut, Rick Hall lives on Oakton Circle, Ron Dinardo lives on Seneca, Steve Jerome lives on Robley, Blythe Woodie on Metropark, Pat Andrzejczyk on Deepwood and Dave Hoehnen on Robley.
Structure and Scope of Committee
Mayor Rinker described for the Committee his view of the scope of the Committee and provided some history of the amphitheatre site. Mayor Rinker said that he hopes this group will embrace not only The Grove, but all of the Village’s parks. The Recreation Department already handles the programming of the parks with respect to sports activities, but this Committee could be involved in the incorporation of public art, development of non-sports programming, etc. With respect to the amphitheatre, Mayor Rinker stated that this Committee could look at a variety of issues, including additions to the physical plant and summer/winter programming. He believes that this Committee can promote ideas and strategies for a more developed complex. “A programming sensibility is what you bring to the table.”
Mayor Rinker described the work being done by the Garden Club and the Historical Society and said that, while the Village may find that it ultimately needs to hire a professional or two, the volunteers in these other organizations have shown what can be accomplished with resident involvement.
Landscape Architect Jim McKnight described the physical layout at The Grove. He stated that he believes the large slope would accommodate up to 1,000 people, while the small slope to the west of the stage area, would accommodate 20-30 people. Mr. McKnight described future landscaping plans and the potential for terraced seating. Mayor Rinker stated that he did not believe that Council was inclined to spend much money on additional amenities right now, but perhaps some of the additional landscaping could be done.
Mr. Hoehnen commented that the Village has a pool that is used only two months each year and he would like to see this facility used more. Mayor Rinker responded that The Grove is a beautiful place to visit and can be used year-round, including using it as a sledding hill in the winter months. “If we do nothing else physically, it is still usable.”
Mr. Hoehnen asked where the name had come from. Mayor Rinker stated that about five years ago, as he was walking the site, it came to mind. Mr. Hoenen responded that he liked the name.
Mrs. Andrzejczyk expressed concern about a lack of parking during the summer months when the pool is open. Mayor Rinker described the reciprocal parking arrangement the Village has had with Progressive for larger events at the pool. Mr. Regan added that there is minimal parking at Cain Park. Mayor Rinker also suggested that half of the roadway to the pool could be converted to parking.
Mayor Rinker stated that, in his view, this Committee is freeform and autonomous, but needs to be involved. The Recreation Board is advisory to the Recreation Department, but this Committee cannot just come up with ideas and expect that there is a department to implement them.
Mayor Rinker suggested that the Fairmount Center might be able to expand its programming to this facility as well as Reserve Hall. Mr. Hall responded that he is a member of Fairmount’s Board and he does not believe that the Village should count on Fairmount for much programming at the amphitheatre. He added that this Committee needs to come up with a vision for the use of this site and suggested that there are strong arts programs in our local schools—Lakeland, Tri-C, CSU—that could help with funding. Mayor Rinker agreed and suggested talking to other entities like the Library and the Metroparks.
Mr. Regan stated that he and Recreation Director Bill Thomas came from the Cleveland Heights Recreation Department. At one time, Mr. Regan was in charge of Cain Park. He described some of his accomplishments there, including the building of an art gallery, and organizing events like the Cleveland Hts. Arts Festival, dances with 350 people in attendance, a circus, etc. Mr. Regan described that, during his tenure in Cleveland Heights, he developed a theme for billboards that said “Parks are for people”. Mr. Regan suggested that parks and recreation belong together and include a wide variety of activities. “Recreation is not just sports. It is also people walking on the path.” Mr. Regan suggested inviting the Library to use the space for speakers.
Mr. Regan stated that he saw the recent news article in the Sun Messenger and knows people are concerned about The Grove being big and loud. He suggested that it doesn’t have to be that way and that events could be more community based. He suggested scheduling regular outdoor lunches with music and food trucks, hosting a local farmer’s market or a craft show with some entertainment, holding yoga classes or dances under the stars.
Mayor Rinker stated that there are limits to what the Village can do, but we can be a resource for this Committee. It takes someone making the contacts. He believes all of these ideas have potential. For instance, it would be wonderful to have a multi-purpose, multi-media facility at this site in the future, but community support is essential. Mayor Rinker added, “Nothing happens without the desire of the community to invest in future development.”
Mr. Hoehnen stated that he believes we need to look at the noise levels being generated near the site. Mayor Rinker responded that the bulk of the hill should insulate the sound. Mr. Regan added that Cain Park is surrounded by houses and he never received any complaints.
Mr. Hall stated that he believes the site’s main limitation is basic facilities, including electrical power. Mr. Regan suggested that the bathrooms from the pool are close enough to be utilized and stated that we need to be able to accommodate people who cannot climb hills; we must be ADA accessible. Mr. Regan added that if a group like this comes up with ideas, people will come up with their own ideas. Mr. Jerome suggested that a future Town Hall meeting be scheduled at the site. Mr. Regan suggested that this Committee hold an open meeting there.
Mr. Regan stated his belief that facilities like this are for the community and that this site has not been developed for other communities. He agrees with developing partnerships with other entities—like the Library and the Metroparks—so that alternate spaces are available in case of bad weather. Mr. Hoehnen expressed interest in building community among Village residents and thought the development and use of the site would offer community-building opportunities.
Arts in Mayfield Village
Ms. Wolgamuth distributed to the Committee some materials, including a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Arts in Mayfield Village” that she and Mr. Hall had presented to the Citizens Advisory Committee last June. Ms. Wolgamuth stated that she thought it might be helpful to this Committee to have a better understanding of the arts opportunities already available in the Village as they consider future programming.
Mr. Hall suggested that the group identify two or three events to hold at the site next summer. Ms. Wolgamuth suggested that she contact FirstEnergy to discuss the potential cost to bring power to the site and talk to the Service Department about when the grass at the site will be ready. Mr. Regan suggested that we plan to invite people to a spring meeting.
Mr. Hall proposed the following as an immediate goal of the Committee: Identify conservative initial programming ideas targeted at the Mayfield Community and make them happen. The Committee agreed that this was a good summary.
Mr. Hoehnen suggested that if the site were properly acoustically prepared, performances without sound enhancement might be possible.
Mayor Rinker ended the meeting saying that we obviously have a good amount of talent in this group and he looks forward to hearing their plans in the future.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. The next meeting of The Grove Committee is scheduled for Monday, Nov 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Diane Wolgamuth, Committee Secretary