The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Covenant Club Cost Updated to $15.8M As Design Subcommittee Wraps Up

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The RSF Association Covenant Club Design Subcommittee concluded its portion of investigating and researching the feasibility of constructing a swim and fitness facility at a final subcommittee meeting on Monday. The meeting featured a refined design proposal along with an updated price tag of $15.8m, up from about $11m which was cited in the original ballot materials in 2014.

The new estimate comes from an independent cost consultant, Graham C. Anderson of Campbell-Anderson & Associates, Inc., who was previously involved in similar community facility projects like the Santa Luz Club and the Rancho Valencia project.

club designProposed design of the Covenant Club and parking lot (Click to enlarge)
The biggest contributor to the higher cost projection stems from an increased cost for rearranging the existing parking lot adjacent to the Golf and Tennis Clubs. An initial estimate from the Exploratory Committee allocated about $1 million for parking lot construction. In order to accommodate more patrons, the parking lot redevelopment is now expected to cost $4.6 million.

Members in attendance raised numerous concerns, including the removal of 20 mature trees by the new tennis courts and along the site where a proposed fitness building will be, the size of proposed building C, and how the project would be financed.

“This proposal would add a significant amount of new landscaping. Yes, it will be a little bit different in the area where those two courts are, but there will be trees and vegetation surrounding it,” Jerry Yahr, Association Board member and Chair of the Design Subcommittee explained.

Yahr then discussed the next steps in the feasibility study process.

“This information is being handed over to the Finance Subcommittee and the Membership Subcommittee,” said Yahr. “They’re going to be putting together the analysis and they’re going to show you how it’s going to be financed and what the membership structure is and then you’ll have an opportunity to vote.”

Financing information will be announced when the Finance and Membership Subcommittees convene in the coming months. Meeting dates are still to be determined, but will be posted on the Association calendar and may be announced at the March Board meeting.

Attendees also questioned what type of majority vote would be needed if the project were to move forward.

“If it passes 551 to 550 votes, that is going to be a very tough decision either way for the sitting board at that time,” Ann Boon, RSFA Board President explained. “As the community gets closer to voting on the proposed Covenant Club, there will be a discussion of whether a supermajority vote or a simple majority vote is necessary.”

According to the implementation schedule presented by the Design Subcommittee, the entire project would require 39 months (about 3 years) before a grand opening would be possible. The implementation schedule would commence only if the community and the Association Board vote in favor of constructing the Covenant Club.

“There are a lot of moving parts and we do not want to rush it. We want to make sure that when we go to a vote you know exactly what you are voting for and there are no surprises for anybody,” Boon concluded.