Fraser Valley Rec board, Grand Park reach impasse over signs
May 9, 2011
FRASER – Progress on signs for the rec center came to a halt last week when Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District (FMVRD) directors put their collective foot down over having the district’s name on the front of the building.
While the district board and the Grand Park Design Review Committee appear to agree on signage reading “Grand Park Community Recreation Center” above the front entry and, again, in large, even-sized lettering across the front of the gym box, the hang-up focuses on two proposed circular signs that would jut out from the corners of the building.
The circular signs, as proposed, are 6-foot, lit versions of the FVMRD logo. The board wants the logo to appear with its lettering. The design review committee opposes the lettering.
“It appears we’ve reached an impasse,” said board member John Kacik at the board’s April 26 meeting.
The board felt strongly about identifying the district offices from the outside of the building.
“Otherwise it looks like a private club,” said board member Greg Gallavan.
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Grand Park developer Clark Lipscomb said he has worked with the board to get these sign issues resolved, from waiving the design review fee and helping the board find an architect to providing the architect with 3-D computerized models of the rec building to save the district time and money.
After the Grand Park design committee received the first formal sign design from the board on April 8, Lipscomb told parks and recreation Director Scott Ledin, on behalf of the development’s four-person design review committee, that the board needed to change the signs on the interior of the building if they want the district’s name on the exterior.
All the interior facility signs (required for public facilities) identifying rooms and stairwells now have “Fraser Valley Rec, Where the Fun Begins” across the top.
During a follow-up conversation, Lipscomb said he believes this signage is in violation the naming agreement in the contract through which Grand Park donated the land for the center. He added that the interior signs infuriated his principal partners when they first toured the rec center prior to opening.
The board agreed to give Grand Park the naming rights to the building when the land was donated in 2008.
What building, he asked, has a different name on the exterior of the building than the interior?
Ledin has argued that the interior signage reflects who is running the programming inside the building.
Lipscomb pointed out that all the interior signage in the new clubhouse at the golf course says “Pole Creek,” not “Fraser Valley Rec.”
“This is about the board not wanting to name the building Grand Park Community Recreation Center,” Lipscomb said, adding that he’s aware of the political heartburn the board members suffer over the building’s name. But, he added, like ripping off a Band-Aid, the board needs to fix the signage so that everyone can move on.
Grand Park’s role
While the public bond paid for the majority of the building, Lipscomb said, Grand Park’s $3 million land donation played a major role in getting the bond approved and making the project viable. In addition to the land donation, Grand Park – at its own cost – revised the plats, built the intersection and brought infrastructure to the site … all things the district would have had to pay for at a different site.
Further, Lipscomb added, he saved the meadow behind the rec center and has kept it available to public use, which he didn’t have to do. Yet, he said in frustration, nobody ever seems to publicly acknowledge what Grand Park has done to help the rec district and the community.
Changing the interior signage to reflect the name of the building, he said, seems like a small but significant way to honor this partnership.
Lipscomb said he even has offered a less expensive solution to replacing all interior signage that would involve fixing a silver plaque over the Fraser Valley Rec at the top of each sign.
The original interior signage cost the district $8,000, he added.
The board directed sign designer Tim Hodsdon of Munn Architecture LLC to stop work until these issues could be resolved.