Clinton Hills Swim Club is a 50 year-old facility that regularly experienced major mechanical breakdowns, often needed structural repairs, and did not have good financial or management controls to efficiently run the facility back in 2008. The club was struggling with ineffective bookkeeping, a poorly trained management and staff and a lack of knowledge of their aging facility. The club was also receiving negative feedback from members concerning a variety of facets including the facilities and management. One specific complaint was that white paint was coming off on the members’ bathing suits. Clinton Hills was sorely in need of experienced pool management and professional repair services.
The transformation began by bringing in a seasoned, SwimSafe-trained manager who knew how to run a facility, manage a team of lifeguards, oversee concessions and front desk workers and handle paying patrons professionally. The manager made sure each employee knew their job by establishing standards and consistently maintaining them. A supervisor was added that gave the manager the extra level of control needed to make sure the pool ran efficiently and cost effectively. Concession profits were increased by converting to fountain drinks, finding more reasonably priced vendors, introducing the Square Point of Sale system and hiring a concessions manager to oversee inventory and money tracking.
To get ahead of capital and repair needs, at the end of the year a facility breakdown listing any problem areas that needed to be addressed along with time frames for each item was generated for the upcoming year. This included a variety of items such as trees that should to be removed, wooden decks that needed to be stained, concession equipment that required updating and new rescue tubes being purchased for the lifeguards. This provided the volunteer board with accurate timelines and budget figures, so they could accurately forecast future requirements.
The main pool was sandblasted in order to get down to the original surface which enabled a proper coat of paint to be applied. This eliminated the members’ complaints about white paint coming off on their swimming suits.
Other situations where SwimSafe came to the rescue include:
Spring 2013: A pipe broke that would have delayed the pool opening without help from SwimSafe. The members were extremely grateful knowing that Swimsafe’s resources and manpower allowed the season to begin on time and avoided extra cost.
Spring 2015: Hundreds of small holes were discovered in the pool shell when the pool opened. Swimsafe got an aluminum welder on-site quickly to ensure every hole was filled, because the pool was losing large amounts of water. Again, the pool would not have opened on time without SwimSafe’s dedication and commitment.
June 2016: A critical pipe began leaking and the pool was losing 2”-3” of water daily. SwimSafe fixed the problem quickly for under $10, which enabled the club to get through the rest of the season. After the season ended, they were given a scope of work to properly fix the issue before 2017 opening.
Clinton Hills has been able to keep their membership steady and reduce costs over the last five years. With the savings attributable to SwimSafe’s efforts, they are building funds to eventually replace the pool relying on SwimSafe’s guidance and recommendations. Clinton Hills has been a SwimSafe client for nine years and during that time SwimSafe has worked with over 30 different board members to maintain a level of consistency in safety and customer service. The pool is running smoothly and member satisfaction is very high.