Hello to all the supporters of BBMAC,
My last newsletter to you was in mid-July. As the summer draws to an end and the kids are back in school, I want to bring everyone up to date on the status of BBMAC. All of your BBMAC board members have been asked questions about the future of BBMAC since the CUSD board meeting held on August 11. I will attempt to answer some of those questions in this newsletter explain the position of the BBMAC board on the question of BBMAC’s future.
As you may recall, CUSD superintendent Dr Jeff Felix proposed two options in response to BBMAC advising him that the remaining balance in the aquatics endowment would likely reach $600,000 sometime in October. These options were considered by the CUSD governing board at the August 11, 2009 CUSD board meeting. Option #1 was a full closure of BBMAC pending a reorganization of the business plan. Option #2 was a plan to continue in limited operation only supporting Coronado High School Athletics and paying contracted clubs and teams while simultaneously reorganizing the business plan. Both options were to commence on August 28, 2009 following BBMAC’s planned temporary cessation of operations for a federally mandated repair which was projected to take two weeks to complete.
Your BBMAC Executive Board did not endorse either option
. Instead, the BBMAC board provided the District with a comprehensive report that discussed the challenges that we discovered over the past year of operating BBMAC. Our conclusion was that continued operation of BBMAC under the current aquatics agreement was no longer sustainable and that an alternative to the aquatics endowment must be determined to provide necessary operational funds. The full report may be read online at our web site www.bbmac.org
What the CUSD board decided was two fold. First the governing board directed Dr Felix to determine whether or not an interim operating plan could be implemented that would allow for operations to continue until the end of 2009. The range of services provided would be contingent upon the minimum aquatics endowment balance not going below $560,000 in that period. If such a plan is not feasible, BBMAC will remain closed after the repair work is complete. Dr. Felix was directed to report his findings back to the CUSD board at the September 10, 2009 meeting.
The second part of the CUSD board’s decision directed that a task force be formed to create a long term solution to BBMAC’s business plan. At a minimum this task force will consist of two members from the CUSD board (Board President Metz and member Lightner have been named), Dr Felix, BBMAC Aquatics Director Carrie Fisher-Fernan and one member of the BBMAC board. In all likelihood there will be more members named to the task force from other organizations and perhaps the community at large.
In practical terms what does all this mean for BBMAC? The scheduled repair is currently ongoing after a delay of a few days while the contractor and the District sorted out some administrative issues. Assuming that a feasible interim operating plan is presented the CUSD board on September 10, BBMAC will reopen on or about September 18th after the two week repair is complete. However, there will be a reduction in hours and service. The Superintendent has determined that the aquatics portion of the PE curriculum for grades 6-9 will be suspended. BBMAC will host the scheduled home games for the Coronado High School Boy’s water polo team but practices may or may not remain at the city pool after the repair is complete. This will depend upon whether or not adequate funds are found to pay for required lifeguard services if practices are resumed at BBMAC. BBMAC would continue to open for paying clubs and teams. Public lap swim hours, if available at all, will be severely reduced. Also, we have advised the Superintendent that in order to accommodate 8-10 college swim teams who have indicated interest in spending their Holiday vacation period training at BBMAC, it would be beneficial to remain open until the middle of January 2010. By that time, the BBMAC task force will have completed its work and hopefully made a determination on how best to sustain BBMAC financially for the long haul.
We have identified numerous challenges but the most significant is the conflict between the intent of the original business plan and the aquatics agreement. The short explanation is that the cost of providing lifeguard services for all of CUSD programs was never anticipated in the original plan and has put an unsustainable burden on the BBMAC foundation. This is the most significant challenge but not the only serious challenge. In combination, all the challenges together have resulted in a very substantial drain on the Aquatics Endowment. The endowment was never intended to provide a long term source of funds to support either the pool itself or to subsidize CUSD programs.
Your BBMAC board believes that a compelling case can be made for a temporary shutdown of operations with the goal of reorganizing our operations and rewriting the aquatics agreement to ensure long term sustainability. There are many areas related to the pool’s operations that need to be reviewed and we think that could be difficult to do while still trying to operate. Additionally, any continued operations will draw down the endowment more and we do not think that continued use of the endowment other than at a minimum level possible is the best course of action. The BBMAC board believes that all available resources should be preserved while possible alternative sources of funds are identified and a new operating plan is devised.
The BBMAC executive board does NOT believe that the situation at BBMAC is hopeless. There is a solution to this problem.
However, we believe that the solution in the long run will have to be a community solution that will require commitment from and coordination between many individuals and organizations in Coronado as well as a robust fundraising plan. It will require a willingness to move past the arguments of the past and toward the solutions of the future. Regardless of which entity spent the money, it is in the end an almost $9 million investment of all of our money as taxpaying citizens. We believe that with the right approach, this investment will pay dividends in the future to the entire Coronado community.