With a loss of about $ 150,000 forecast for the year, Flagler Schools may need additional programs to make the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club viable – or close it to non-students.
“It’s not sustainable,” said Marta Barber, coordinator of BTSRC. She offered four options: 1) Sell the property. 2) Rent it out to another business that might be trying to make a profit. 3) Close the property to the community but continue to use it for school purposes only. Or, 4) keep the facilities open, but increase the fee structure to the community.
Since local student swim teams use the pool for training, selling the facility was the least desirable option for school board members Colleen Conklin, Cheryl Massaro and Jill Woolbright. Additional financial data was requested before a final decision was made.
David Freeman, director of factory services, said at least one 30-year-old laptop needs to be retired. The parking lot also needs to be repaired, as does a tennis court. He said the leasing options seemed unlikely.
After a long discussion, Massaro asked Barber for her perspective on the matter, considering that she manages the facility.
Barber said that in October 2019 the operations budget was profitable. “And then COVID hit,” she says. Recently, water safety programs have helped 138 children in the community, and she suggested that more classes and programs could be added to meet the goal of serving Flagler School students as well as the community.
“We are dragging ourselves backwards, we are pushing our way through, and I think we could come out of the red again, but we have to be able to provide services to the children,” she said, adding that older people could use the club more. than the children simply because “we do not offer anything else for the children”.
Massaro was encouraged that the BTSRC could eventually break even on the operating budget, but was still concerned about capital improvements.
The school board will discuss the matter again – with more financial data – at the June meeting.