Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What's Going On With Roosevelt Island Sportspark Facility Renovations And Program Improvements - Cornell Tech Students Submit Sportspark Renovation Proposal To RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) operates the Sportspark Facility. According to RIOC:

... Sportspark is located just south of the Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island. The facility opened in 1977 and is available for the public to use on a membership, drop-in, or permit basis. Permit price varies according to the event, date, and number of hours.

The Facility

The Sportspark Complex is designed to offer numerous athletic opportunities for the New York City community. This indoor athletic recreation facility is equipped with a pool, gymnasium, multipurpose room, and locker room areas. Sportspark offers multiple indoor athletic and general fitness opportunities for all ages throughout the year....
Sportspark Image From Google Maps

The Sportspark facility is in need of building renovations and program improvements. The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services and Planning Committees have asked to meet with RIOC to provide community input on Sportspark renovations, improvements and future programing. To date, RIRA has not been successful in obtaining a meeting with RIOC on Sportspark issues.

RIOC President Susan Rosenthal reported on the status of Sportspark renovations and community input in her April Community report: According to Ms. Rosenthal:
Sportspark Renovation

RIRA also recently asked us to review their report and ideas for the Sportspark renovation project. While we have more plans to solicit community input on this project, we first should update you on the plan’s current state.

The first Sportspark RFP, set to be released by mid-June, is for design services and biddable documents only; not for physical renovation (that will be addressed in a subsequent RFP). Once we have a firm in place, then we will engage you, and the RIRA committee (and utilize our Cornell community study on possible programs) to receive your input and ideas on the renovation.

Members of our staff have reviewed the information RIRA provided, of which a majority involves facility concerns that we are aware of and agree should be addressed with the design.

We recognize RIRA is excited about the project and so are we. We look forward to working together. I will share additional updates as the project moves along.
Below are excerpts from the December 2017 Cornell Tech Sportspark Student Report.
Executive Summary

This report constitutes the recommendations for Sportspark improvements based on the discussions between Mary Cunneen and the Cornell Tech student team, as well as objective data gathered by a community-wide survey. The goal is to take advantage of the planned resources for renovation to make Sportspark more available, accessible, and relevant to the community, as well as drive conversion from daily passes to memberships. To this end, we recommend a use case for the upper floor, elucidation of Sportspark information, opening enabling facility amenities outside of class-hours, the creation of additional activities, and other suggestions as determined by the information we collected....

... Closing Thoughts

The biggest current problems with Sportspark are unclear messaging to potential patrons, a lack of “open-gym” activities, misalignment with the needs of some community members, and maintenance concerns. Our goal for this proposal was to address those problems, and we believe that the renovation provides a perfect opportunity to solve many of them. We hope that Sportspark can benefit from some of the suggestions provided here, and that the survey data collected can help guide future decisions that are out of scope of the topics discussed herein....

... Most commonly cited issues/suggestions from the Additional Comments section:

The locker rooms need renovation, including:
  • Fix the showers to have adjustable water temperature o Add hooks to hang towels
  • Fix toilet stall doors
  • Showers should be sanitized regularly
  • Soap dispensers should be filled
The website needs to be updated to be more navigable and clearer to readers

There should be a weight room with a trainer

Extend open hours (6am-10pm)

The water temperature in the pool is too cold

Make a group-priced membership available

Make the multipurpose room nicer with a softer floor

Add more family activities

Add more Yoga and Swimming lessons

Increase awareness of the facility across RI

Basketball Court should be mopped more frequently

Add Tennis lessons

Add Yoga-specific membership option

Add Cardio equipment

Add mirrors to multipurpose room

Establish partnership with Cornell Tech

Better AC in multipurpose room

Reconsider swim-cap rule for younger children
and here's the full Cornell Tech Student Sportspark Renovation report.