Virtual Focus Group 4 – Community Centre Results

Let’s discuss the results, question by question:

Swimming Pool.

The yes vote was overwhelmingly in favour for a swimming pool.  There was also tremendous preference for the pool being indoors not out; and saltwater was preferred by a three-to-one majority. It appears the healthy properties of salt water over chlorine are well understood. Judging from your other health related choices we shouldn’t be surprised. A slim, but big enough majority did not want a resistance pool – guess for most of us swimming is resistance enough!

Exercise Room.

All indicators point to Meaford Haven residents being a pretty health-conscious bunch. It’s a well-known fact that only about 30% of aging is genetic predestination, the rest is due to lifestyle choices. You folks chose to have a well-equipped fitness facility with trainers available on a per-session basis, and with group fitness classes and yoga classes. We are curious about one thing though. Having women-only trainers was an idea few of you warmed to. Really, we only asked to see if there was a bias toward women-only things; well breathe easy guys, they still want you around.

The Setting.

We want our swimming pool to be indoors for year-round use, but we’d like a poolroom that can open to the outdoors when weather permits (this often happens, even in Meaford). We’d like to take a dip, then lay in the sun on a nice warm patio – a nicely landscaped warm patio that will look good even when covered in snow.

Ambience.

In other words, what’s it going to be like inside? This was fun, we threw some extremes in the questionnaire and you responded something like this:

Like a living room? “No, I have a living room, I want a Club.”
Like a coffee shop? “Yes, that would be nice.”
Like a pub? “Now you’re talking, that’s even better than a coffee shop.”
Like a hotel lobby? “No, now you’re getting fancy.”
Like a Church
Fellowship hall? “What!?”

So it looks like we’d like our Community Center to be like a pub/coffee shop, a comfy place where we can hang out, have a casual meal and a beverage or two and socialize. It needn’t be fancy as long as it’s nice, clean, well lit, with good service. And we’d all like it if the pub connected to the pool patio. Not sure about swim suits in the pub, though. Just saying.

Indoor Mail Room.

This seems like a fine idea to nearly everyone. Makes sense, who’d choose to be cold and wet over warm and dry when collecting the mail? Besides, the room adds a social aspect to the daily chore of picking up the mail because you’re bound to run into someone you know and you could wind up chatting over coffee or a pint. This is a good thing; we need other people to keep our lives full and this is one of those little things that will help draw us together.

Kitchen.

A community center is a place to gather for events, hold parties, club meetings; and all those things are better when there’s food. It’s easier to have food when there’s a kitchen. The vast majority of you appear to appreciate that, although there are a significant number who think we should all bring our own dishes, glassware and cutlery. Hmmm, guess that’s why we have a condo board to sort out those little details.

Office.

There will be association business to attend to, there will be a business club, which will need office space to operate from, so we’re almost sorry we asked. What if everyone had said no? Fortunately most said yes, office space is a good idea. Again, nothing fancy, just enough to get by with.

Library.

Looks like everyone here is a reader, and happy to pass along the paperbacks; so yes to a small library. Who knows? It could grow into a big library.

Conclusion?

Put all this together and you’ve got a cross between a coffee shop and a pub, which means we’ll be probably be looking for professionals to run it. The pub will have a seasonal outdoor patio, which also serves the pool area. There will be a modern, well-equipped fitness room and a big indoor saltwater pool, with the necessary shower and changing rooms. We’ll have an indoor mailroom, a kitchen, library and reading nook, and office space. We’ll probably enter through a central foyer that will route us to the main social area, the pub, or to the pool and exercise room.

We’ve interpreted the word, “Nice”, which came up a lot, as meaning just that. “Comfy” doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. We will not rival a four star hotel or a big name country club. We will be low-key and friendly. Money will be spent on facilities, not frills. If you want a liveried doorman at the Meaford Haven Community Center, bring your own uniform.

This has been the fourth of the Virtual Focus Groups (three to go) and a picture of what everyone hopes the community will be is slowly emerging. Stay tuned for more, and feel free to keep talking to us. Use this handy text box:

Good health, everyone.

Pierre Boiron

Your comments, unedited, much appreciated:

I think we need a pool but it all costs. An indoor pool is a must but how do put in two pools or is there a combo pool. You don’t want to swim indoors in the heat of the summer

A Kitchen, no dishes, cups, cutlery to store and keep clean – bring your own in and take home to clean! A must.

Library to be brought in by members and taken out only by members , , , exchange

outdoor mail with covered over porch look is better – but no container as it may be used for garbage or cat litter/dog too!

I’d love a tv area, open and well lit.

Books available to borrow, WiFi area.

A place to buy a cup of coffee and restaurant to go to when we don’t feel like cooking.

If you do have a coffee shop or restaurant, would like it more if it had outdoor seating with trees and a few park benches…

A restaurant would be nice but would it cost extra in condo fees if it didn’t get enough business

Please see above comment. I go to 2 aquafitness classes a week and would go more if times suited. Consider a CALA (Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance) instructor in the fitness trainer category above.

Pub denotes warm, dark, evening meeting place to me, so maybe not amenable for all times of the day and night. I have never been in an inviting, comfortable church hall, too institutional for me.

Hotel lobby functions 24 hours and can be fitted out with Pub functions – fireplace, pool tables, card tables and lounging areas, TV’s, oh and bar 😉

If “licensed restaurant” implies an open-to-the-public dining facility then it might fly. Without high patronage, quality would be reduced. To have a decent, well done, reasonably priced private licensed restaurant is a big challenge.

A year-round pool is essential and it should be long enough to do laps – ie: 25 metres minimum is vital. It would also be nice to be able to hold water exercise classes.

We currently live overseas and our local community club house within a gated community has a pub, restaurant (inside and outside eating), coffee shop, tennis courts, fitness centre and exercise room which is large enough to hold fitness classes It isn’t pretentious but is welcoming and comfortable. Out fitness centre is open to the public for membership therefore can support a full-time trainer.

It would also be nice to have an inside court for basketball, volleyball, badminton, or a fellowship all, but I wouldn’t want just a stand-alone fellowship all.

A mini bus to take seniors shopping into town or Owen Sound or Collingwood for a small fee or included in the association fees.

An indoor pool offers the opportunity of exercise in the winter months to help keep seniors fit. I’m not interested in any of the other types of classes