WSCC president recommending recreation task force

February 16, 2024

WSCC president recommending recreation task force

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees will consider the formation of a Recreation Task Force when it meets in regular session on Monday, Feb. 19.

“Recent information provided to the Board regarding the state of the college pool highlights the importance of addressing broader recreational needs,” College President Scott Ward wrote in a memorandum to the board. “The condition of the pool and its operational challenges serve as a catalyst for a more comprehensive examination of recreational facilities and programs available to both the college and the community. As stewards of the college’s mission and resources, it is imperative we take a regional approach to meeting community needs and desires, providing necessary services to our students and patrons, and coordinating our offerings with those of other community agencies.”

A grassroots group, Friends of the Pool, was formed in September of last year to advocate for the college to continue operations of the pool located in the main campus’s Recreation Center. The pool was opened in 1975 and faces major upgrades, according to Ward. He said the swimming pool annually has an approximate $100,000 loss in revenue. Members of Friends of the Pool have stated that they are willing to serve as a support group to the pool, helping with sustainability and programming, similar to the Friends of the Ludington State Park group.

Ward is recommending a task force that will be comprised of representatives from the college and the community “to comprehensively review the recreational needs of our area constituencies. This initiative is key in ensuring that our facilities and programs align, when reasonable, with the evolving needs and expectations of our stakeholders.”

Ward listed possible key objectives of the task force:

  • Assessing the condition and utilization of existing recreational facilities, including the college pool, fitness center, athletic fields and other amenities.
  • Gathering input from students, staff and community members regarding their recreational preferences, needs, and priorities.
  • Considering the potential impact of student housing on recreational facilities and programs.
  • Exploring opportunities for collaboration and partnership with local organizations, municipalities and businesses to expand recreational offerings and access.
  • Evaluating emerging trends in recreational programming to inform future decision making.
  • Developing a comprehensive plan with actionable recommendations for enhancing recreational opportunities at West Shore Community College, aligning with the college’s strategic goals and available resources.

“By convening a task force composed of individuals representing diverse perspectives, including college staff, students, and members of the local community, we can gather insights and knowledge necessary for a thorough assessment,” Ward said. “This task force would be charged with evaluating the current state of recreational facilities and programs at the college and in the community, identifying areas for improvement and gaps in service, and formulating recommendations for strategic enhancements.”

Ward said, in conjunction with the task force, he would engage the WSCC Foundation in examining its role and also interested community members in raising money for sustainable recreation programs.

“While I believe the Foundation’s role should be primarily focused on student support and success, I envision a supportive role from the Foundation in assisting community members who have expressed an interest in raising funds for recreational programs.

“I believe the formation of this task force represents a proactive step towards ensuring that West Shore Community College remains a vibrant hub for recreational engagement and community involvement. By engaging stakeholders in a collaborative process, we can leverage collective expertise and resources to cultivate a more inclusive and dynamic recreational environment for the region we serve.”

The Board of Trustees meets Monday, Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. in the North Lounge of the college’s Administrative & Conference Building.

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