RECENT ARTICLES
  • Moving Toward a Self-Sustainable Aquatics Funding Model

    by Emily Attwood May 2015

    Of all the municipal recreation programs that suffered budget cuts during the Great Recession, perhaps no area has taken a bigger hit than aquatics. Public pools have never been a profitable line item in recreation budgets, bogged down by expensive initial construction costs and ongoing maintenance needs. Public pools drained their waters left and right to save on operational costs, and even with budgets rebounding, deferred maintenance has caused expenses to increase to the point where many programs have no choice but to close down indefinitely.

  • New Orleans Suburb Considers Privatizing City Parks

    by Laura Godlewski April 2015

    A suburb of New Orleans is responding to a drop in participation in its youth sports leagues by privatizing municipal parks, as well as removing restrictions about what teams a child may join based on where they live. 

  • Funding Freeze Puts Illinois Park Districts in a Bind

    by Laura Godlewski, Athletic Business Intern March 2015

    With the state of Illinois facing a $1.6 billion budget deficit, governor Bruce Rauner has placed an indefinite suspension on state grants for park district construction, which affects both current construction and new construction for park districts across the state. 

    This decision comes at a particularly poor time for many park districts just gearing up to start work on a variety of construction projects as warm spring weather sets in.

  • Poor Design Blamed for Rec Center's Financial Woes

    by Emily Attwood March 2015

    Seven Hills Recreation Center in Ohio lost $45,000 last year, bringing its total financial loss up to $553,000 since it opened in 2002 — not including the initial construction costs. According to Mayor Richard Dell'Aquila, poor initial design has caused the city-owned recreation center to become a "generational financial problem."

    “The recreation center has suffered from poor construction, bad design, and ineffective management," Dell'Aquila told Cleveland.com. "Combined with the worst financial recession since the 1930s, the recreation center has been largely responsible for much of the financial woes the city has suffered in the past decade.”

    Among the major expenses, the pool roof had to be replaced shortly after the center opened due to deterioration caused by pool chemicals. The $2 million cost was partially covered by the original subcontractor. The natatorium’s HVAC system was also replaced last year at a cost of $500,000. Dell’Aquilla says that the previous system never worked properly and led to structural issues throughout the rest of the recreation center.

    Read the full report

    In 2011, the city hired a consultant to inspect the recreation center and identify further construction deficiencies. In addition to poor facility ventilation, the inspection found that the no vapor barrier had been installed during initial construction, putting the facility at increased risk of deterioration due to moisture buildup. 

    Additionally, Dell’Aquilla criticized the original pool design, which is not large enough to host swim competitions. “There are many swim teams in our area that could have been attracted to the center with a little more thought.”

    RELATED: A Pool Survey Can Highlight Damage You Can't See

  • Cardio Equipment Leasing Strategies for Fitness Centers

    by Emily Attwood February 2015

    Cardio equipment is the heart of any fitness center. It's the most popular type of equipment, unintimidating and easy to use for fitness newbies, but also a powerful workout tool for enthusiasts. Befittingly, manufacturers are constantly seeking out new ways to improve their products, from design tweaks to make equipment more user-friendly to consoles featuring integrated technology to keep up with users' expectations. Today's cardio equipment is compatible with a range of wearable technology, offers a variety of virtual-reality programming, can record a long list of workout data, and can even alert operators to specific maintenance needs.

  • How to Keep Costly ‘Scope Creep’ at Bay When Building

    by Oliver Snider, Guest Contributor December 2014

    Reading The New York Times’ latest account of the costly and troubled World Trade Center Transportation Hub project, there came a point where I recognized that the scale of the disaster — $2 billion over budget and six years behind schedule — was all that separated that project from the typical campus project beset by scope creep.

  • More Bad News: UAB's Bowl Hopes Now 'Nonexistent'

    by Michael Gaio December 2014

    If it's true that "when it rains, it pours," consider UAB's football program drenched in a torrential monsoon.

  • UAB Kills Football Program, Fallout Immediate

    by Michael Gaio December 2014

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham officially killed its football program on Tuesday. The ensuing scene on the school's campus was one of chaos and heartbreak — students protesting, the band playing, tears flowing and a school president being berated by devastated players and booed by fans. Death is never easy to accept.

  • Lucas Oil Stadium Repairs Will Cost Millions

    by Michael Gaio December 2014

    When $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium opened in downtown Indianapolis in 2008 it was praised for its airy design and luxurious amenities.

  • Proposed D.C. United MLS Stadium Most Expensive Ever

    by Andrew Brandt November 2014

    Compared to the $1.2 billion shelled out for the San Francisco 49ers new Levi's Stadium, $286.7 million may seem like a drop in a bucket.