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Park survey results released

by Adam Jacobs

 CHESTER - The people have spoken and the Church Memorial Park (CMP) brass heard them loud and clear.

 Fifty-seven people responded to the first-ever CMP survey conducted last spring. Those results have led to action.

 Those choosing to take the on-line survey were asked to name three things CMP should stop, start or keep on doing. Respondents were also asked to name one thing about CMP they would change if they had a magic wand.

 Of the 57 people who completed the survey roughly 50 per cent were public skaters. The other half were hockey parents.

 The things people wanted to stop the most are poor customer service and staff and management concerns.

 Barb Carleton, CMP chairwoman, said those concerns are being addressed.

 "Our staff will have uniforms from now on making them more identifiable, especially to visitors," she said. "As for our staffing numbers we're still working on trying to find the money to find extra staffing for the winter. We're largely an organization built on volunteers."

 The survey suggested CMP start year-round programming, improve communications and complete safety upgrades.

 "Communication is a big issue," Ms Carleton said. "With the improved newsletter we hope it gives people a feeling the park is more than a skating rink and a curling rink."

 The newsletter, available on-line at, contains a balance of past news and upcoming events and information.

 It was put together by former board chairman Ron Ternoway.

 New bulletin boards will also be erected in the rink with one devoted solely to up-to-date CMP information. A part of that information will be fundraising initiatives and related results.

 "We've been very successful in the fundraising," Ms Carleton said. "We have some public money here and people should know what we're spending it on."

 Survey respondents asked the CMP staff to keep public skating, do continued maintenance and upgrades and promote the facility.

 The next upgrade for the Eleanor Pew Morris Memorial Arena includes a new refrigeration unit and a heat-recovery system. The plan is to have them in place by spring 2009.

 And finally, if there was a magic wand, people asked for heated arena seating and a clean, modern, updated facility.

 While heated seating may not be an option, Ms Carleton said a modern, updated facility is the ultimate goal of the ongoing $1 million fundraising.

 As for a clean facility, professional cleaners were brought into the rink late last week to clean the washrooms and showers.

 "One of the biggest things that came from the survey is cleanliness," Ms Carleton said. "The professional cleaners have been in to clean the washrooms and showers as well as the glass and beams. We're planning on bringing them in on an annual basis."

 There will also be a change in canteen services this year. There was a call from parents for a greater selection with healthier choices.

 As for the newsletter, Ms Carleton said it's too early to determine how many instalments will be published this year. Not only is it available on-line, but hard copies have been printed and were handed out at registration sessions.

 "Right now I'm in the process of distributing them to waiting rooms and other gathering places in the community," said Ms Carleton.

posted on 09/09/08
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