Clarifications to recent articles on the Water Tower Recreation Center master plan project

As the neighborhood point person for the Water Tower Recreation Center Master Plan Project, jointly applied for by the Water Tower Advisory Council (WTAC) and the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club (CHYSC), I would like to take this opportunity to clarify and expand upon the information contained in prior articles covering this exciting community project.

The joint proposal submitted by the WTAC and the CHYSC was approved for a preliminary design grant by the Community Design Collaborative (Collaborative) for the preliminary design of a conceptual master plan for the use and possible improvements to the Water Tower Recreation Center and the surrounding ball fields and courts. This initial phase, lasting approximately six months, is only the first step in the creation of a final master plan for the site.

The initial conceptual plan could change significantly in future phases of its development, depending on such factors as the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild program, the hiring of a design consultant to provide further design services for the implementation of its recommendations, or a shift of funding priorities for future phases. It should be emphasized that the Collaborative design process is completely separate from, but will proceed alongside the evolving Rebuild program of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department. Coordination between the master plan project and the Rebuild program will be on-going from the start of the Master Plan Project because there will be several PPR representatives who will be part of the master plan project task force.

The grant from the Collaborative does not award any cash funds to either of the applicant entities (WTAC or CHYSC). The grant is a service grant which provides for in kind design services by design professionals (architects, planners, etc.) recruited by the Collaborative, who will volunteer their time, talents and expertise, to our project for a six month time period.

Their efforts are uncompensated and the estimated value of their services is in the $20,000-$30,000 range. It will be up to the WTAC, CHYSC and the community-at-large to raise funds to hire the additional design services that will be necessary for implementation of any of the recommendations which may be contained in the conceptual master plan product.  The scope of the preliminary master plan does not include any bid-ready projects.  These may very well be accomplished in future phases of this community effort, which may last many more months or years following the conclusion of this initial phase of the Master Plan Project.

Please stay tuned during the next six months for more exciting news from the Water Tower Advisory Council and the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club about the Water Tower Master Plan Project.

Craig Hosay
WTAC and CHYSC board member