Dear University Park Members and Residents,
Three weeks ago, the Park Grille Café reopened. Member response has been tremendously positive, meeting and exceeding our expectations. The use of the outdoor space has been abundant, and it is gratifying to see each seating area utilized (the bar, soft seating, dining seating, etc.). In addition, the expanded hours have proven popular with diners utilizing the Café throughout the day. For those of you who have yet to experience the new Café, we think you’ll share in the acclaim when you return to University Park.
We recognize the road to opening the Café was one of great frustration for members, staff, and the Board; and from this we’ve had some lessons learned. This memo is intended to review issues faced and share actions we are taking to learn from our experience.
Permit delays, supply chain issues (primarily lumber and concrete pricing and availability), unforeseen site conditions, and architect/contractor challenges collectively contributed to the opening delay.
At the onset of the construction process, when the possibility of engaging an Owners’ Representative was discussed, the Board decided to minimize the cost and have senior management serve in that role. Management’s full plate of day-to-day responsibilities and limited experience in projects of this scope slowed resolution of architect-contractor and supply chain issues. We recognized this shortcoming and identified and engaged an independent Owner’s Representative, Osprey Consulting Inc., to oversee the remainder of the project. The Owner’s Representative helped resolve issues expeditiously and was critical to the successful completion of the project. Lesson learned: Engage an independent Owner’s Representative.
As you may know, Management has also established a volunteer Project Management Team comprised of members with construction, project management, and other relevant experience to establish a process to assist the Board and Management future project oversight. One of their initial steps is to complete an internal postmortem examination of the Café renovation to further identify what issues arose and how to mitigate them in the future. Lesson learned: Establish an improved process using talented residents and members for process management and communication.
Let’s talk about costs. Our initial estimate for the Café Project was pegged at $1,500,000. However, when we received quotes from the contractor and architect, acknowledging rising product supply and labor costs (the rapid inflation we experienced in 2022), the project Budget was established at $1,850,000. Actual project costs will total approximately $2,050,000 (10.8% over Budget). While we would have liked the overrun to be zero, given the complexity of the project and some unknowns (e.g., site ground conditions) we view this as reasonable. At present, there is still a punch list of items to be addressed over the summer, and we have held back our final payment to the contractor until those issues are resolved. The project overages have been funded by our operations and reserves.
In summary, we have a wonderful outdoor dining experience which will forever change the social fabric of our Club. The road to completion was challenging: longer and a little more costly than had been projected. Lessons were learned, and with those, we are confident we will successfully apply them to future projects.
We thank you for your continued support of University Park Country Club and look forward to seeing you in the The Park Grille & Café, on the course, the courts, and around the Club.
Sally Dickson, University Park RD Board Chair, o/b/o the Board of Supervisors
John Fetsick, General Manager