City, Baldwin City Golf Association discussing replacing clubhouse
Baldwin City and the Baldwin City Golf Association are exploring the replacement of the clubhouse at the Baldwin City Golf Course. The city is interested in seeing what needs besides golf clubhouse a new building could fill.
The city’s interest in replacing the old horse barn that has served as the clubhouse since the 1960s started when Baldwin City Golf Association President Steve Wilson updated the City Council Oct. 7 about the association’s activities and goals. Wilson’s report focused on the need to replace the clubhouse because its failing roof has made much of the interior unusable. The building also made a bad impression on the thousands of visitors to the city when it was used in the fall for Baldwin High School and Baker University cross country meets, he said.
Wilson presented two options to the council about how to replace the building with a modest clubhouse adequate for the sand-green golf course, while acknowledging that the city might want to do more.
At the conclusion of Wilson’s report, the council agreed Wilson should meet with the council’s community development committee.
City Administrator Chris Lowe said the committee had met twice this month with Wilson. The council’s position at those meetings was that if the city were to put money into a new clubhouse, it should look to address some of the city’s and its partners’ other existing needs with a clubhouse larger and less “humble” than what the golf association proposed, he said. One of the partners approached was the Baldwin City Recreation Commission.
“We’re looking to get the most bang for the buck,” Lowe said. He said he expected a proposal would be presented to the full council before the end of the year.
Wilson said Tuesday the options he gave the council Oct. 7 were intended to start discussion. It wasn’t the association’s place to propose a new building more elaborate than it needed, he said.
During Wilson’s presentation to the council, he said the association favored an option that would put up a 30-by-40-foot metal shell on the concrete slab for about $40,000. That plan would leave framed walls inside without sheetrock and did not involve completing plumbing or electrical work.
Wilson said he was confident he could get commitments of cash and in-kind donations to finish the building should the shell be put up, he said. When finished, the clubhouse would have a small kitchen and bathrooms.
To reimburse the city for the shell’s construction, Wilson proposed the association’s lease could be amended.
The association is in the fourth year of a five-year agreement with the city, which requires it to make a $1,200 lease payment annually. Wilson suggested it be replaced with a new 10-year $4,000 annual lease agreement, which would start in 2014.
The subject is not new. In March 2012, Wilson told the Baldwin City Council the group hoped in the coming year to replace the clubhouse on the 18-hole, sand-green golf course it leases from the city. That didn’t happen because the association was forced to buy a new tractor used for maintenance at the course.