The San Marino Recreation Commission received reports from city staff regarding the futures of the Thurnher House at Lacy Park and the former site of Stoneman School at its April 25 meeting.
Cindy Collins, who is serving as interim community services director, informed the commission that the city needs to find new sources of funding for the Thurnher House after the 2016-17 fiscal year.
San Marino has received $52,584 per year for the last nine years from Los Angeles County to keep the doors of Thurnher House open. The county program that has financed the maintenance of Thurnher – and provided $426,486 to date – will sunset in 2017.
“People have made the Thurnher House their meeting space home,” said Collins, noting that the San Marino Historical Society and 11 other community organization meet regularly at the City-owned facility.
Collins told the Commission that new sources of funding could include charging a fee for using the facility or some other source of revenue.
“Not to hit the panic button for anybody, but we have to start thinking about how to move forward,” she said.
While the commission considers potential new sources of revenue for the Thurnher House, the Recreation Department will embark on a services and facility needs assessment and action plan.
Collins provided the San Marino City Council with a status update earlier this week. In her report, Collins requested that the council place the assessment plan on their June 24 meeting for further study. She hopes that the needs assessment plan will “take [the conversation] into a bigger realm than just Stoneman.”
Collins also hopes that the needs assessment plan will be “a complete analysis” of all the recreational programs and facilities in San Marino with the goal of understanding “how they work and how they don’t work.” She added that looking at the affordability of potential recreation needs should be the next step.
The Recreation Department’s 2016-17 fiscal year budget will not appropriate any funds to Stoneman. The council voted on an item that awards a bid to Hampton Floor Covering, in an amount not to exceed $48,316 from the 2015-16 fiscal year budget, for carpet replacement at Stoneman.
In other news, the Recreation Department made several significant enhancements to its aquatics programming. Most notably the department is partnering with the American Red Cross to provide successful participants of the department’s Junior Lifeguard program with Learn-to-Swim completion cards.
Participants who receive a completion card will be First Aid, CPR and AED certified. Recreation Supervisor Eddie Covarrubias said there may even be opportunities in the future for successful participants of the department’s Junior Lifeguard program who pursue further training to get hired as lifeguards down the line.
In its newly designed six page aquatics program guide, the department has 56 new private and semi-private swim lessons listed for the summer. Collins said the impetus for the additional private lessons came from a decline in program registration.
“People are seeking out private lessons because they get more attention and they can swim more quickly than in a group lesson and that’s what started us looking at this,”Collins said.
The Recreation Commission’s next meeting will be on Monday, July 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thurnher House.