City Council must confront the nightmare that is the Golf Club


By David F. Rooney

The City is facing some difficult decisions regarding the 104-year-old clubhouse at the Revelstoke Golf Club; a January 2013 internal report on its structural deficiencies says it needs $592,000 in repairs and upgrades.

That internal report by Troy Biggs concluded:

Exterior painting / siding repair$8,500
Flashing / soffit upgrades$1,500
Flooring repairs$3,500
Foundation work$5,000
Approximate costs of upgrades to clubhouse$18,500
Summary of cost estimates:
Structural repairs to correct Clubhouse deficiencies$265,000 – $300,000
Upgrades to the structurally deficient out buildings$190,000 – $260,000
Plumbing upgrades$10,000
Electrical upgrades$3,500
Cost estimate miscellaneous Club house repairs$18,500
Total estimated costs$592,000

Last year, City Council reluctantly allowed the emergency expenditure of $37,000 to ensure that the clubhouse could open this spring for use by club members.

That may have led some people to believe that everything would be fine after that. However, a report presented to Council by Engineering and Development Services Director Mike Thomas sheds new light on the state of the clubhouse that was built in 1910. It said:

“Costs for the various requests are difficult to estimate;

  • Previously it has been estimated that there is approximately $300,000 of structural upgrades required.
  • The additional requests received from the Golf Club regarding the appearance and façade of the clubhouse are difficult to estimate in isolation, as there are many unknowns regarding the extent of work required to correctly remedy the issues.
  • The Golf Club maintenance buildings, which are the responsibility of the club to manage and maintain, were identified as requiring approximately $200,000 of upgrades at a minimum, with demolition and replacement with a new maintenance building a viable option, cost unknown at this stage.
  • The costs to restore the building to improve the usable space and functionality are unknown. An architect is best positioned to review and comment on the opportunities that may be available in restoring the building.”

The golf club’s problems are coming to the fore because Lew Hendrickson at Vic Van isle wanted to donate Hardiplank siding for the clubhouse.

“City staff met with the board of directors in May 2014 to discuss the potential for Hardiplank siding and other concerns the board had with the building,” Thomas said in his report to Council. “No operating or capital funds have been allocated for clubhouse in the 2014 – 2018 financial plan. As such, any city expenditures on the clubhouse in 2014 would need to be allocated from existing service areas or projects.”

So what’s going to happen?

This is a bit of a nightmare for Council. The clubhouse and course are owned by the City and is leased to the Revelstoke Golf Club.

As Councillor Phil Welock put it the structural deficiencies at the Golf Club constitute a “health and safety” problem for the City, which would be liable if someone were to be injured by, say, “falling through the floor.”

Something has to be done but the City doesn’t have a spare $600,000 sitting around.

“In 25 words or less where do we go from here?” asked Councillor Chris Johnston

Unfortunately, Thomas’ report doesn’t include any solutions.

“The report is intended to let Council know what challenges we face,” he said.

Chief Administrative Officer Tim Palmer said he has been talking with the Golf Club’s executive and will continue talking with them in the weeks ahead.

“Where do we start?” asked Mayor Dave Raven. “Where do we stop?”

That the City has to do something is clear. Selling the golf course might be one option but Raven indicated that that is not option he wants to consider.

“It’s an asset that has community value,” he said.

“This almost brings tears to my eyes because the same could be said about just about every City asset that’s over 50 years old,” he said.

Please click here to read the illustrated reports on the Golf Club’s problems.