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The Master Plan Proposal - FAQ

Facility Master Plan

Improvements to Clubhouse and Site

The Village Links is developing a Facility Master Plan to address several deficiencies in and around the clubhouse. While plans are still in the concept stage, we welcome your questions and comments. The plan was presented to the public at a special Recreation Commission meeting June 15, 2011. The Recreation Commission discussed the Master Plan at a meeting on June 29, 2011 and passed a motion recommending that the Village Board of Trustees adopt the Master Plan and hire architects/engineers to design the improvements. The Village Board of Trustees is scheduled to hear a presentation on the Master Plan at a Workshop Meeting Monday July 25, 2011.

Your questions and comments are still welcome: email: MasterPlanFeedback@VillageLinksGolf.com.

 

The Master Plan Proposal FAQ - last updated July 20, 2011

1. What is proposed?

2. What deficiencies will this address?

3. Why not address clubhouse and site issues separately?

4. Did you consider alternatives to this plan?


The People Behind The Plan

5. Who is developing this plan?

6. What experience does the Village Links have with capital projects?

7. Why are you using these architect/engineering firms?


Finances

8. How much will this proposal cost?

9. Who will pay for it? How will it be funded?

10.What is the Village Links track record on paying for capital projects?

11. What is the financial state of the Village Links?

12. Why consider a capital expenditure at this time, when the economy is under stress?


Ownership and Use


13. Who owns and operates the Village Links?

14. How do Glen Ellyn residents benefit from the Village Links?

15. How much do Glen Ellyn residents use the Village Links?

16. Will Glen Ellyn residents and community groups be able to use the expanded clubhouse?

17. What has been and will be the public discussion of this plan?

18. How can I ask questions or comment on the proposal?


The Master Plan Proposal FAQ - (scroll down to view the entire FAQ)

What is proposed? - The Village Links Master Plan proposes that the golf course clubhouse, driving range and clubhouse site be renovated/expanded in phases. This plan is conceptual and could be modified during the design process.

Phase 1 would be completed as soon as possible and would include remodeling and additions to the clubhouse. A new rest rooms and a bar would be added. New dining rooms would be added for general dining and for use by groups, including golf outings. A new patio would be built. Parking would be added closer to the clubhouse to attract non-golfers year-round. Parking lot lighting would be added. The bar, dining room, and patio decor would be upgraded. A small 10-12 space driving range tee addition would be built west of the driving range tee. This addition would include an artificial tee line with an overhead cover for use in inclement weather and infra-red heaters for cold weather. Water, electric, and gas utility lines serving the clubhouse would be replaced. The parking lot would be renovated. Clubhouse site facilities (motor cart parking, putting greens, etc.) would be reconfigured.

Phase 2 would be completed at a future date, as finances allow. In Phase 2, the original clubhouse would be demolished, including everything south of the existing main entrance, all three locker rooms, rest rooms and Pro Shop. The driving range tee would be rebuilt and expanded north in the space that the original clubhouse occupies. The driving range tee would include an artificial turf tee line extending across the entire back of the tee. A protective covering for that tee line would be built, along with a room for storing and washing driving range balls, and a station for the 9-hole course starter. The driving range tee would be lighted for night use. The first tee of the 9-hole course would be shifted to the east to allow further expansion of the driving range tee. Cart storage buildings would be added, with electrical service for electric carts and water and sewer for cart washing. A new Pro Shop would be built. The finished clubhouse would not have any locker or shower facilities. Phase 2 could be completed all at once or could be split into separate smaller projects.

What deficiencies will this address? - The proposed improvements would address deficiencies with the clubhouse restaurant, rest rooms, the driving range, parking lot, utility service and motorized carts.

Restaurant Improvements - A bar would be a popular gathering place. Changes to the golf business have created the need for a capability of hosting private functions for golf groups of up to 150. This space could also be used by non-golf groups. The restaurant and patio decor is poor and needs to be upgraded with style and flair.

Air Lock Doors - The clubhouse is uncomfortable and expensive to operate because of the lack of air lock doors allows building heat to escape in winter and air-conditioning to escape in summer.

Rest Rooms - The rest rooms are worn, outdated and too small. The decor is poor. There is not enough room to comply with ADA handicap accessibility requirements.

Parking Lot Lights - Parking lot lighting is needed to make the clubhouse more inviting, improve customer safety and comply with Village codes.

Driving Range - The driving range tee is 30 years old and is too small for the use it receives. It should be rebuilt with an improved root zone mix and leveled. An artificial turf tee line would make the driving range more usable in early spring and late fall and when the grass tee is very wet and would help keep the grass tee in better condition. A portion of the artificial turf tee line should be covered for use in rainy weather. Infra-red heaters would increase use in colder weather. Lights would allow the driving range to remain open until 10:00 or 11:00 PM. to generate additional revenue. More realistic target greens could be built. Fairway drainage should be improved. The driving range needs to be lengthened to accommodate the greater distances of modern balls and clubs and avoid a limit of “irons only”.

#1 Tee Starter Station - A 9-hole course starter station is needed to protect the starter, a phone and computer from sun and rain.

Motorized Cart Storage - Indoor Cart Storage would keep the carts cleaner and would reduce wear from winter weather. It would include a cart washing station with a triple basin drain to capture pollutants. A storage building would allow us to switch to electric carts and consider the addition of computer GPS yardage displays. Electric carts protect the environment and improve the golf experience.

Water Service Line - The 44-year old clubhouse water line needs to be replaced. It is vulnerable to failure at multiple locations, some of which could present repair challenges that could force the closing of the restaurant, rest rooms and golf course irrigation system for two to five days. Such repairs unnecessarily expose water utility workers to significant risk because of the pipe’s location near the bottom of two lakes and adjacent to live electrical lines. A larger capacity water line is needed to support fire sprinklers required by Village code.

Electric Line - The 44-year old electric service is in a sleeve that runs under the parking lot. That sleeve is collapsed in places, making it difficult in the past to pull in new wires when old wires failed. The electric service needs to be upgraded to accommodate a larger clubhouse food service or electric golf carts.

Natural Gas Line - The natural gas service line is 44-years old and is likely to fail in coming years.

Parking Lot - The main parking lot is worn out and needs to be renovated (replace failed sections of the base, level the surface, overlay life extending fabric and install a new asphalt surface). Renovation has been put on hold until needs for parking lot lighting wiring and utility service lines are determined. Most parking is inconvenient to the clubhouse, 370-feet to 900-feet from the front door.

Why not address clubhouse and site issues separately? - It would be costly and wasteful to address facility deficiencies on a piece-meal basis. We do not want to renovate the parking lot only to decide that we need to trench new utility lines through that lot. We do not want to replace the water and electric lines today, only to decide that we need to do that work all over again to accommodate the higher capacity required by an enlarged clubhouse. We do not want to remodel the clubhouse today only to decide that we need to relocate parts of the clubhouse to avoid losing use of the driving range.

Many of these solutions impact each other. Any significant clubhouse changes will trigger compliance with ADA regulations and fire sprinkler codes, which will impact the building foot print and water utility requirements. Expanding the driving range tee forces a relocation of the motorized carts and 9-hole course #1 tee. Adding parking closer to the clubhouse forces the relocation of practice putting greens.

Addressing issues separately would be cost prohibitive in dollars and land to comply with the County stormwater ordinance. The clubhouse and site is in the flood plain. Any added fill requires that extra storm water storage equal to 150% of that fill be added below the flood level. The same goes for the addition of any hard surface or roof line. The addition of more driving range tee, or an asphalt tee line, or more parking, or a patio or sidewalk, or building addition will all require that lakes be expanded, fairways lowered and detention area be added in roughs. Multiple projects would require multiple stormwater permit applications, each requiring its own engineering and construction of additional stormwater detention capacity. The usable space available for golf course and buildings in the clubhouse area would shrink as the 150% detention requirement would compound over multiple projects. The expense of engineering and construction would also compound prohibitively.

Did you consider alternatives to this plan? - This is the third option considered. First we looked at rebuilding a new clubhouse closer to the parking lot. When that option was unaffordably expensive, we looked at renovating the clubhouse and improving the driving range and site as proposed. When that option was also too expensive, we split the work into phases until we reached an affordable plan.

The People Behind The Plan

Who developed this plan? - This plan is being developed by Glen Ellyn golfers, Village Links staff, and professional architects and engineers. In late 2009, Village President Pfefferman asked the Recreation Commission to find ways to increase revenues and community use of the Village Links. The Recreation Commission discussed various options and in June 2010 formed a sub-committee - a Facility Master Plan Steering Committee - to study ways that the clubhouse and site could be improved. The Steering Committee is comprised of Recreation Commission members and a diverse group of Village Links golfers. Village Links staff outlined facility deficiencies and possible solutions. Three design firms were hired on a limited basis to develop some plan concepts and cost estimates. These firms are building architect Perkins, Pryde, Kennedy, Glen Ellyn, IL, golf course architect Gill Design, Inc, River Falls, WI and civil engineer V3, Woodridge, IL.

What experience does the Village Links have with capital projects? - Village Links management has completed dozens of capital construction projects, working with 20 architects/engineers and 35 contractors. In these projects they have built buildings, roads, parking lots, cart paths and golf holes. They have built and dredged ponds. In today’s dollars these projects are worth more than $10-million. Significant projects include the 1984 Clubhouse Expansion, the 1995 Maintenance Facility Expansion, and the 2004 Golf Course Renovation. Each of these projects was completed in a quality way, at a superior value, on time, on budget and with a minimum of change orders.

Why are you using these architect/engineering firms? - Because our experience with these firms shows that they perform in the upper tier of firms in their specialties. They produce precise bid and construction documents that produce lower bids and well built facilities. They find ways to lower total construction costs by involving our staff in performing segments of work. They find creative ways to solve design problems and keep our costs down. They anticipate problems to avoid costly change orders. They work on our behalf to manage construction issues fairly and in a low cost manner, to our benefit. They work well with our staff and other design firms in the sharing of electronic files, saving time and expense in the planning stages. Working with these firms we can complete this project in a quality way, at a superior value, on time and on budget.

Finances

How much will this cost? - The estimated cost of the Phase 1 improvements in this plan is just under $3,900,000. The estimated cost of Phase 2 is $2,900,000, with no timetable for completion. We believe that we can lower the cost of the project through value engineering and by performing some work in house using Village Links staff. Some items that do not generate enough profit to pay for themselves might be deferred. As a result, we expect that Phase 1 costs can be lowered 10% to 20%.

Who will pay for it? How will it be funded? - We could finance this project through a General Obligation Bond issue, to obtain the most favorable interest rates. A 20 year bond issue of $3,900,000 at 5% interest would require an annual debt service of $311,000. That debt service payment would be paid by the Village Links, with no cost to the Village or the taxpayer.

What is the Village Links track record on paying for capital projects? - In 1984, the Village Links borrowed money from the Village to finance a Clubhouse expansion. That loan was repaid on time at market interest rates. In 2003 the Village Links borrowed $4,500,000 via a General Obligation Bond issue to finance the 2004 Golf Course Renovation. Debt service payments on those bonds are being paid on schedule.

What is the financial state of the Village Links? The Village Links (the Recreation Fund) operates as a self-sufficient enterprise fund without the use of any tax money. The Village Links pays for all golf course operations, plus maintenance and operation of Co-Op Park (with the Park District), Panfish Park, and Lambert Lake. The Village Links also pays for the maintenance and operation of the stormwater detention system built into those properties. The Village Links pays its share of insurance, taxes, and pension expense, and its share of municipal overhead, including a percentage of salaries of administration, personnel and finance.

The Village Links is paying $340,000 per year in debt service on a 20 year General Obligation Bond Issue sold in 2003 to finance the 2004 golf course renovation. 12 years remain on that debt service.

In the last five years, the Village Links has generated $2,700,000 in operating profit, allowing it to make $1,400,00 in debt service payments, replace $500,000 in capital equipment and put $500,000 in the bank, increasing its cash reserves to $2,000,000 at the end of 2010. While this has equalled the most profitable periods in the history of the Village Links, much of this financial success has been due to tight cost controls, as the Village Links and golf courses nationwide have experienced significant revenue declines since 2001.

Management has determined that $1,000,000 in cash reserves can be used on capital improvements.

Why consider a capital expenditure at this time, when the economy is under stress? - The Village Links has significant deficiencies that impact customer service. Fixing these deficiencies will strengthen the Village Links business and allow the Links to attract more customers. While the economy and the golf business are under duress, low interest rates and competitive construction bids make this a good time to do this work.

Ownership and Use

Who owns and operates the Village Links? - The Village Links is owned and operated by the Village of Glen Ellyn. The Village President and Board of Trustees govern and set policy for the Village Links, as they do for all Village functions. The Village Links is the primary property operated by the Village Recreation Department. Other Recreation Department properties include Panfish Park and Lambert Lake Nature Preserve. Village Links staff manages Recreation Department operations. The Recreation Commission is a volunteer appointed board that advises the staff and Board of Trustees on matters pertaining to the Recreation Department.

How do Glen Ellyn residents benefit from the Village Links? - The Village Links operates a stormwater detention system that provides flood protection for the southern third of the Village, at no cost to the taxpayer. Residents have the use of Panfish Park and Lambert Lake Nature Preserve at no cost to the taxpayer. Resident golfers receive tee time priority and green fee discounts at the Village Links.

How much do Glen Ellyn residents use the Village Links? - 3,800 residents play 32,000 rounds of golf a year. Village surveys show that half of all residents visit the Village Links at least once a year.

Will Glen Ellyn residents and community groups be able to use the expanded clubhouse? - Yes, there will be more opportunities for community groups to use the larger clubhouse.

What has been and will be the public discussion of this plan? - Most of the discussion to date has occurred at the Village Links Master Plan Steering Committee, a subcommittee of the Recreation Commission. Staff recommends that architects and engineers be hired to design Phase 1 improvements. The Steering Committee concurs.

The Master Plan was presented to the Recreation Commission on Wednesday June 15, 2011 at 7:30 PM at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center. About 30 people attended that meeting. They aasked questions and provided comment. The reaction was generally favorable.

The Recreation Commission discussed the Master Plan at a meeting held on June 29, 2011 and passed a motion recommending that the Village Board of Trustees adopt the Master Plan and hire architects/engineers to design the improvements.

If the Village Board approves hiring architects and engineers to design Phase 1 improvements, the design would be presented to the Steering Committee, Recreation Commission and Village Board. Plans would also be submitted to the Village of Glen Ellyn, to obtain a DuPage County Stormwater Management Permit and a Special Use Permit, which require appearances before the Plan Commission and the Architectural Review Commission. The Village Board would make the final decision on all of these matters. The Village Board could approve funding for the project and authorize the solicitation of sealed bids for construction.

The meetings of these five Boards/Commissions are open to the public and include Public Comment on each meeting agenda.

How can I ask questions or comment on the proposal? - You can ask questions and comment on the Master Plan

email: MasterPlanFeedback@VillageLinksGolf.com

regular mail: Master Plan Feedback, Village Links of Glen Ellyn, 485 Winchell Way, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

All questions and comments will be shared with Village Links staff, the Steering Committee, the Recreation Commission and Village Board of Trustees. They will also be posted on this site.

Thank you for helping us with your questions and comments!

 

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