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Reply To: Paying for the Horizon project

Forum Home Forums Horizon Project – Have your say! Paying for the Horizon project Reply To: Paying for the Horizon project


Response posted on behalf of Richard Rawlinson, Chairman of the Finance Committee and sponsor of the Horizon Project.

Proposal 1 below is the North Wing proposal(s), covered in the Horizon materials and especially the sports-specific presentation and meetings.

Proposal 2 In some form, the tennis pavilion will be progressed to the stage of member approval, independently of decisions about the major Horizon proposals; something can be done within existing resources. The survey will ask briefly about it but full design will come later. A relevant short question will be included in the survey.

Proposal 3, The envisaged new cricket pavilion might or might not include croquet; if it does not, croquet would probably continue to be accommodated in the East Wing. Work on the cricket pavilion is being progressed; that will come to members with a developed design if it meets the major projects criteria

Proposal 4. The proposal is not necessarily for a translucent bubble but for a winter bubble; the exact feasibility of what we can create is constrained by the site and that issue already being worked on; again, it would come to members if it become a major project otherwise would be decided by Main. Again, a short question will be included in the survey.

Proposal 5 Bubble over the outdoor pool. This was not popular in the consultations by swimming and fitness; that committee did not support it so, it is not being pursued. The belief is that many swimmers like the outdoor nature of the pool and will use it in the winter without a cover. Experience this winter will test that.

Proposal 6 2nd indoor pool. That is an option under the moderate West Wing option as well as the comprehensive option. The decision to include a 2nd pool vs. other things will be decided at a later stage, when and if we come to the design of the West Wing.

Sadly, it is not a correct assumption that the £250,000 in the Horizon budget, covers drawings, legal issues, cost and engineering feasibility on all of these improvements, project by project. It covers the work for the master plan and associated planning and costing work, plus the additional communications and survey costs, but not individual building design costs as you hope it would. Remember, the work on the West Wing cost over £2 million for one building – and in the master plan we cover the whole site! Of course, you are talking about a stage 1 or 2 design and not finished drawings, but nevertheless, the costs would be significant and we are keeping the Horizon budget to £250k – a good part of which is going on communications, not design.

Our intent at this stage is get clear definition of what we want in each building and whether members support solving particular problems for the related estimated costs – not to get approvals for a specific design. That comes later, and so do the design costs, after we know what we want. Our current illustrative floor plans are helpful to some, but far from ideal – illustrative not definitive, and floor plans not elevations.

Of course, other approaches might have been possible, with different costs, and different people might do it differently, but this is the approach that has been decided upon and it has been heavily influenced by the experience of the West Wing project – where two major issues were (i) the lack of consideration of other solutions, outside the West Wing, to identified issues; and (ii) the lack of definition upfront, before expensive design work was carried out, on exactly what facilities were needed, to address exactly which problems.

Before construction on major projects is commenced, of course members will be able to review much more info, and specific designs, before they approve it. Minor projects, on the other hand – which some of those you cite may be – will go ahead on a different democratic principle – that the elected Main Committee will decide, based on the best information on members’ needs and all the technical and financial factors that apply.

You have been clear that you do not support the major projects that have been identified, and your list reflects that. That opinion may be widely shared; we will find out in the survey, and if it is, your list is a perfectly plausible list of projects (save only the cover on the outdoor pool which was there earlier, but has been taken out of the list now being considered). However, minimal work on the East Wing would I think imply some reversal of thinking on the East Wing compared to that implied by the recent Member Resolution.