Dear Lakeshore Members and Friends,
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Lakeshore Swimming Pool will not be opening for the 2020 swim season. This decision was not made lightly. Valuable feedback from our LSPA Member Survey informed this decision.
The factors that influenced this decision can be condensed into 3 main reasons:
These 3 factors are all intertwined. The safety requirements for reopening, as outlined by The Guide to Reopening Pools and Waterfront: Lifesaving Society Guidelines for Reopening after Covid-19 Disclosure – June 2020 are expansive and would require ‘a new normal’ for LSPA.
A fundamental component of this ‘new normal’ would be a significant reduction in the number of swimmers in the pool facility at one time, reducing LSPA to 25% – 30% of its regular capacity. This would be 70 swimmers at one time. Tied to these restrictions are extensive physical distancing requirements that limit our ability to offer lessons to children and youth. These changes restrict our members’ ability to use the pool when they wanted, requiring LSPA members to book 2-hour swim times online, with possibly only 1 spot for swimming, every other day. This new swim schedule also reduced swimming hours since vital cleaning was needed to take place between every 2-hour swimming block.
This limit on access also had serious financial implications for LSPA. With a reduced capacity, fewer members were willing to join Lakeshore this year – and without more members, it became harder to envision a financially viable summer. As a Not-For-Profit organization, Lakeshore’s fee structure is kept to a minimum, as our goal is to raise enough money to pay for expenses – and nothing significantly above and beyond that. The Board of Directors, over 40 years, had saved enough funds to remodel LSPA in 2015 but we still had to take on a mortgage. Given this, Lakeshore does not have significant savings and these financial stresses were acknowledged by members in our survey. They recognized that opening the pool during a pandemic with less revenue was a risk.
Staffing costs – even with access to the Federal government’s Wage Subsidy – would exceed the monies that we would bring in through memberships. Additionally, opening and closing costs and pool chemicals remain big expenditures that take a sizeable percentage of our income. With school closures this Spring, there were no pool rentals by schools in June, further reducing another source of income. Like so many other organizations, Covid-19 has placed LSPA in a no-win situation. If we increased in members for this summer, there would be less access to pool times and without enough members signed up for this summer, the pool’s financial situation could be jeopardized in the future.
Data from the member survey revealed that many recognize the precarious place in which we are in. Using data from the survey, with all the members showing interest in the pool opening, we would have to schedule 590 members where the 30% occupancy rules would allow only 350 swimmers per day. Among the data, we found several recurring points from our membership. There were many concerns about how the scheduling would be fair to members. Some of the members who voted YES to opening the pool had conditions on the reopening - wanting lower membership rates, more adult swim times, and a return to lessons before they would sign up again with LSPA in 2020. These are conditions that the Board of Directors worried we would not be able to accommodate, despite our best intentions to do so.
If there is a silver lining in this time of upheaval and uncertainty, it is the steadfast affection that so many people feel for Lakeshore. In the comment boxes of the survey, there is a clear picture of our membership – a wonderful cohort of people who see the value of being a member of LSPA and are committed to keep it going. Many, many members offered to support Lakeshore through this difficult time. Many of our PAD members, and other members who have paid through PayPal, have offered to let us roll over their payments to 2021. We do understand if members who have paid using PAD or PayPal request refunds. If you wish to do so, please contact us at the email below. Other members have offered to donate to Lakeshore so that we can continue to make our mortgage payments throughout the upcoming fall and winter. The Board of Directors thanks each of you for your kind and generous offers of support and hope.
2021 will be the 50th anniversary of Lakeshore Swimming Pool Association and the tough choices that we have had to make this summer will ensure that we can celebrate this important milestone together next year. In the very near future, we will be corresponding with you about ways that members can support LSPA – and we certainly hope that you will. If you have questions or comments, please email email@example.com
Your LSPA Board of Directors