Editor's Desk - May 2010
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Work With What You've Got

pring is in the air, and construction zones are everywhere. Really, you'd think a person would be able to find some 25-mile route through the suburbs that wasn't graced with orange Men At Work signs, but you'd probably be wrong.

It's nice to know that all this construction is putting some people to work, but it does lengthen the drive. And by the time I get home, I'm often so hungry I immediately head to the pantry to find something to cook up for dinner. And, generally, I try to have a plan, so that I know what I'm going to make when I get home.

But, when the construction first disrupted my dinner timing, my plans all involved meals that I just didn't want to take the time to cook. So, I had to improvise.

Since I didn't want to go to the store for ingredients, or to a drive-through for fast-food, I had to work with what I had. That led to some creative dishes as I used up a little of this and a little of that in the pantry and fridge. The result? A quick, tasty dinner on the table.

That same thought process can be applied for those of you who might be planning new facilities. If you have to scale back those plans, then maybe you, too, can work with what you already have.

The recession has had a major impact on budgets for public entities and private owners alike. Those who might have been planning new facilities may be scaling back their plans. But, nothing can stop the slow march of time, and you all know what that march does to your facilities. Equipment eventually needs to be replaced, buildings eventually need a facelift.

And that's where you can do what I did. You can work with what you've already got. You might not have the budget to build a brand-spanking-new facility, but you may be able to renovate your existing facility and improve its appearance.

This month, we feature our Eighth Annual Innovative Architecture and Design Awards winners, as well as some highlights from the entries we received. Among them, you'll find many who worked with what they already had, making changes and additions to existing structures to improve their aesthetics, their functionality and their usage.

On these pages, you might find some innovative ideas you can take away and apply to your own facility, whether it's bringing in more light, upgrading heating and cooling equipment or something else.

And, if you have no budget, even for the simplest upgrades, take your inspiration from the innovative thinking that went into these impressive facilities, and apply it to the things you can change: your programming, your marketing efforts, your customer relations efforts, even just your own workday.

Work with what you've got, and you might be able to cook up a veritable feast for fans of the recreation, sports and fitness programs you offer.

And, if you are planning to renovate or build a facility, we hope you'll tell us all about it, and enter our next annual design competition.

So, what's for dinner?


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director


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