The Sarasota County Croquet Club Board of Directors held two meetings this month, January 11, via Zoom and another January 22, at the SCCC clubhouse. The additional meeting was requested as board members felt they needed additional time to consider the issues and requests.
The board discussed the first phase of improvements to our clubhouse facility: Installing LED lights to courts 1-3, adding concrete pavers around the clubhouse and pavilions (2500sf) and purchasing more suitable seating. A committee accessed our membership's need for more appropriate and comfortable seating, tables and shade. We are also looking into a variety of new structures to possibly to replace the existing pavilions next to the clubhouse.
The board approved spending $25,000 for the immediate installation of pavers, rockers, tables, chairs and landscaping. Donations will help with the funding of these projects. Contact treasurer, Chris Smith or VP, Nancy Hart. Additional information with plans and pictures will be posted in the clubhouse.
The board approved increasing membership dues to $205 per member, effective immediately, to include the USCA dues ($55) to was the club policy in years past. Board members felt it was important to support the national organization and promote the game/sport of croquet. USCA is working to offer more benefits to all members.
Our website will soon have an online retail section where apparel, mallets and other croquet items can be purchased. Webster Bull and member, Arlene Stevens are working out the details.
Hans is looking into a sponsorship for a paid part-time program/general manager position for the club who would assist in the general management of the club. At this time we are solely dependent on our volunteers. He feels the organizing and managing of the club may now need professional help. The position could be on a trial basis to see how it works.
Hans stated that his immediate focus is on our Pinebrook location. However he is working very closely with Sarasota County Parks and Recreation on a future project (location to be determined) for a new croquet facility as part of a Sarasota County Parks overall expansion project. It would be a separate entity altogether from SCCC.
The Sarasota Lawn Bowlers have offered one of their courts in uptown Sarasota near the Van Wezel to add a playing court for our members and as well as tournaments if needed. They are asking for $1000 to assist in the upgrading of the one lighted court. The board decided this needs to be looked into further before making a decision.
As mentioned, many of the improvements are in preparation for the week long USCA National AC Championship Tournament to be held at our club April 10-17. There will be a press event with county officials, local media in attendance at SCCC on February 23.
The next board meeting is scheduled for February 15 at noon at the clubhouse.