President's Corner

April 2019

Dear Whitley Park Owners and Residents:

We'd like to take this opportunity to communicate with you about the status and use of the pool for the 2019 pool season. Some of you may have already heard discussion surrounding the matter during our open Board meeting this week, or from one of our neighbors. The Board and Management have carefully listened to your concerns about whether the pool will be available during the spring and summer months. We appreciate your feedback, understand your concern, and would like to provide you the most current details and facts.

By now, we hope that you've taken time to review the multiple communications from the Board of Directors to the community about reserve planning and future infrastructure investments. As recently noted in the financial quarterly review memo by our Treasurer, Perry Gonella, the Board, has completed a comprehensive reserve study by the engineering firm SK&A, unlike any other in our Association's 29-year history. This study was unique because it was invasive, requiring a hands-on analysis rather than the standard visual inspection. This allowed us to assess the true condition of our community's infrastructure. One of the items highlighted by the engineers was our community pool, which they note had not been properly maintained, nor brought into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), for the past three decades. After a thorough review of the invasive report as it related to the necessary and mandated pool repairs, we determined that until these repairs are made, it will not be possible to open the pool Memorial Day weekend, as has been the tradition in our community. This is disappointing to all of us, but we hope you understand our need to address critical safety and regulatory compliance issues that had not been adequately addressed over the years.

By way of history, before opening the pool for the 2018 season, Montgomery County conducted its routine annual pool inspection and in doing so, cited as a concern the condition of the pool whitecoat but allowed us to patch one particularly cracked and broken area to open in 2018. We did the patchwork and opened the pool. Over a short period following the pool opening, Management noticed that the overall condition of the entire whitecoat became progressively worse and additional delaminated areas started to appear.

At the end of the 2018 season, we believed all that was needed would be another layer of white coat in preparation for the 2019 season. We had assumed that over the years, the pool had been maintained and kept up to code. Instead, after receiving the preliminary report on condition assessment from SK&A in November, we learned that as a consequence of years of deferred maintenance, the pool repairs were more comprehensive. To follow up on this assessment report from SK&A, we engaged the engineering firm ETC to assist us with a plan to correct the significant deficiencies and provide the community with a safe and enjoyable amenity. We had to wait until late winter to be able to remove the pool cover so the engineers could complete a methodical inspection. You may have noticed the pool cover removed and the pool drained of all water much earlier than usual.

The ETC engineering study report concluded that the whitecoat must be fully replaced. This was not unexpected as whitecoats have a limited useful life of five years before needing to be redone. Considering the last full whitecoat was done many years ago and had already exceeded its useful life, we could no longer merely patch the pool as was done in the past. A new whitecoat is needed for purposes of safety.

Also, Montgomery County code states if a pool is not ADA compliant, the pool owner must bring the pool to ADA compliance if the pool owner is undertaking a full new whitecoat. Therefore, not only are we now faced with a project to re-whitecoat the pool, we now must bring the pool, and the deck, to ADA compliance. Therefore, the scope of work for what was originally a straightforward project became far more complex.

As of the date of the distribution of this memo, the specifications and requests for proposals for the repairs have been completed. We are awaiting final review by the companies we have solicited bids from. Bids are expected to be returned and reviewed by the end of the month. At that time, the Board will decide on their preferred bid and authorize Management to execute the contract. Management will work with ETC to ensure the work is done in compliance with the approved contracted specifications for the work in a timely manner. The driving factor of the timeline for this project will be scheduling the selected bidder(s). Once we receive all the bids, we will be in a better position to determine the likelihood of opening the pool for part of the season and if so, when that will be.

We are working diligently to execute this project as soon as possible and are doing so in the hopes that we will be able to open the pool for your enjoyment for part of the 2019 pool season. Please note that the Board of Directors and Management are exploring possible contingency plans for us to access neighboring pool facilities.

Thank you for your time on this matter that affects all of us within our community. We will continue to send updates to you on the status of the project.