By Greg Ellison
(July 2, 2020) Aside from serving its obvious purpose, the recently opened Ocean Pines Golf Clubhouse is set up to handle all sorts of community functions.
Ocean Pines Association President Doug Parks said despite statewide health restrictions to help block the spread of covid-19. an unveiling ceremony was held for the more than 7,000 square-foot Golf Clubhouse on June 17.
“We had a little ceremony the other week,” he said.
Approved by the OPA Board of Directors for a maximum cost of $1.6 million in April 2019, the project broke ground last October and was completed this May and came in nearly 10 percent under budget at roughly $1.49 million.
From its inception, the new structure was envisioned with more than golf in mind.
“That building was designed to be a multi-use facility,” he said. “It’s got the pro shop and the golf-related amenities, but you also have a large meeting room, which was part of the original design concept.”
Hoping to address a dearth of meeting space for OPA advisory committees and community groups, building plans for the single-story structure included a spacious function room and restaurant facilities, in addition to an outdoor deck and golf pro shop with club-fitting area.
“The staff in Ocean Pines has been very creative with regard to being able to schedule meeting rooms,” he said.
Parks said the Elections Committee staged a meeting at the new facility last Friday, adding that the upcoming directors meeting on July 1 would follow suit.
“Important things that go along with that, we have to stay in lock step with the mandates from the governor (Larry Hogan) with regard to covid-19 social-distancing capacity within the building,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that we follow all those rules to the letter of the law.”
Parks said the clubhouse would likely provide sufficient space to accommodate typical meeting turnout, but that precautions are planned to permit limited public attendance during the July 1 board session.
“They’re going to set the chairs up so that they are social distanced at least six to eight feet apart, so we can be in compliance with other mandates from the governor,” he said.
Looking ahead, Parks said a few acoustical tweaks are in store to optimize sound conditions for meetings held at the clubhouse, which has high ceilings and plenty of open space.
“The folks from Mid South [Audio] have put in the base system but they wanted to come in and take another look at a real-life usage of the room,” he said.
Although marketing banquet services for weddings or special events through the newly launched Clubhouse Bar and Grille has been slightly stunted during the coronavirus outbreak, Parks said wedding bookings have begun to trickle in. Matt Ortt Companies CEO and co-founder Ralph DeAngelus said because of the limitations on public gatherings, the Yacht Club is currently marketing “tiny weddings” for groups under 50 people.
“All the amenities that come with a wedding are included,” he said.
Parks said as covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the association will strive to market the clubhouse for a wide array of applications.
“We really want to promote that room,” he said. “It was intended as the community room.”