The Seabrook Gateweay Task Force Background: The 2006 Horizon Plan proposed to build a new gatehouse, at a cost of about $300,000; in the event, the requirements for accomplishing this task were not fully defined and continued to evolve, this coupled with financial conditions in 2008, when the Lake House and Island House were built, meant that this work was postponed. The 2011 Sense of Place report had a major section on the condition and attractiveness of the entry to Seabrook Island. Traffic backups have become a frustrating event on summer weekends as the rental market has grown, and contractor/builder traffic is growing as home building is expanding again. The Club, SIPOA and the Town recognize that we have an aging Gatehouse, and old technologies for entry to the Island. The barrier needs regular repair and maintenance. Our Visitor Pass system is unreliable. Therefore we convened a Task Force, comprised of representatives of SIPOA, the Town and Club to look at all aspects of the entry experience and recommend improvements.
What we’re doing: We’ve been focusing on processes that would create a more efficient and welcoming entry experience for SI property owners, guests, prospective buyers, contractors. They are all “customers”; we want to make it a better experience to get them through the entrance without any loss of control and security. All visitors are also potential buyers. We’ve had the Club, SIPOA and the Town describe all the processes they use for getting people through the Gate. We have many categories of entry processes, reflecting the many categories of people and vehicles coming through the Gate. We’re looking closely at all of them to see how we can streamline them and create “One Stop Shopping” for anyone who needs access to the Island. We want to see how we can minimize the number of paper passes our Security staff have to issue; that’s time-consuming and a significant cause of delays at the gate. We also want to look critically at the facilities we have for potential buyers; we only have one chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes. In 2014 SIPOA has budgeted $3,000 to have the architectural firm, Glick/Boehm, provide a conceptual design for a new gate house that is needed to provide improved functionality for the security staff as well as improved technology for visitor and vehicle pass management. We are also brainstorming ideas for a central location near the entry to Seabrook Island with the capacity to serve Owners, Renters and Guests; to address their questions, provide amenity cards and visitors’ passes in a single location. At this point this is a brainstorm discussion of requirements, services, and potential space requirements. The Club’s priority is to build reserves and pay off debt; the Real Estate office is a good functional building and any changes would be a Club project. While working through considerations of improving owner and guest experiences for service, when we see short-term opportunities that can be accomplished within current budgets, we will pass suggestions to staff for improvements without delay. Where we define potential solutions to long-term needs, we’ll bring them before the appropriate Boards for further consideration.
Guy Gimson Gateway Task Force Leader