Splash Club New Garden to open later than expected05/18/2021 05:09PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
After weeks of speculation and rumor, it was announced at the May 17 New Garden Board of Supervisors online meeting that Splash Club New Garden – a private member swim club originally scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend in Saint Anthony in the Hills – is now projected to welcome guests beginning in the middle of June or in early July.
Following the board’s 5-0 approval that will permit the inter-municipal transfer of the club’s liquor license into the township for use at Splash New Garden, Splash Club co-partner John McKenzie told the board that the highly-anticipated opening of the club has been delayed by what he called “current setbacks.”
“Basically, we’re making sure that the integrity of the structural pieces already there at Saint Anthony’s are safe,” he said. “Before we get too far finished, we want to make sure that it is engineered in a way that is safe for our members and the township.”
“We’re currently waiting for the approval from the Chester County Health Department for the
kitchen layout, and at that point we can continue on [with the remainder of the
construction],” said McKenzie’s business partner Nick Reynolds,
who added that he and McKenzie have already heard back from the Health Department. “Hopefully, everything will be back very soon.”
Once completed, Splash Club New Garden will feature a re-surfaced outdoor pool; adjacent in-ground hot tub areas for adults; a 30’ x 60’ children’s pool; a poolside lounge and additional areas for outdoor poolside seating; 60 private and furnished cabanas; the Wave restaurant that will offer members and non-members a seasonal menu reminiscent of a tropical vacation; lawn sports; as well as live music and themed nights.
When it opens later this summer, the club will serve as the key anchor destination for the 137.5-acre Saint Anthony in the Hills property that is currently undergoing a renaissance of redesign and repurposing. Working from the ideas generated largely by the general public, the township’s Saint Anthony’s Master Plan Committee is collaborating with several architects, engineers and environmentalists to generate a master plan that will eventually transform the property into an oasis of trails, playgrounds, pavilions, event lawns and outdoor venues.
McKenzie said that to date, he and Reynolds have spent between $1.1 million and $1.2 million to prepare the club for opening, and estimated that the cost of the entire project is between $1.7 million to $1.9 million.
The transfer of the liquor license is expected to be approved by the Liquor Control Board in six to eight weeks.
One of the major concerns expressed by township residents has been in the area of projected and increased traffic along the roads that lead to Saint Anthony in the Hills that is likely to occur once Splash Club New Garden opens later this summer; in particular, a planned entrance to the club off of Reynolds Road.
Township Manager Ramsey Reiner said that while a planned entrance from Reynolds Road still exists on a master plan draft, no action has been taken to develop the concept. She said that the township is working with PennDOT and its traffic committee on safety measures at the Route 7 entrance to Saint Anthony in the Hills that will serve as the only entrance to Splash Club New Garden.
In other township business, the board, by a vote of 3-2, approved the advertising of the ordinance updating the township’s solid waste and recycling program – generated by the Department of Environmental Protection -- that spells out the basic rules of procedure for township residents to adhere to.
During the board’s discussion of the ordinance, supervisor Steve Allaband called the ordinance “a good thing in one way but it’s very stringent in other ways,” he said. “I think it’s a goal to improve upon, but I don’t know whether it can realistically be done.”
Allaband later voted against the advertising of the ordinance.
Donna Brown of the Kennett Area Parks & Recreation Board announced that Katie Cook has been hired as the organization’s newest employee. Cook has a Bachelors degree in Sports and Recreation Management from Temple University, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from West Chester University, and comes to the board with six years of experience in parks and recreation.
After more than a year of online meetings, Board Chairman Pat Little also announced that Board of Supervisors meetings are expected to return to the Township Building, beginning with its meeting on July 19.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].