The Columbia Association board approved a $5.85 million clubhouse for Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club at its meeting Thursday. In addition, board members opted to build a new turn house, or restroom cabana, which is an additional $250,000.
"I think this will be a great project for the community," said CA President Phillip Nelson. "The new clubhouse will not only serve the golfing community, but the preliminary designs that were presented by the H. Chambers architectural firm also presented a place for neighborhood and community functions."
from H. Chambers depicted a main level that included men's and women's locker rooms, a large dining room and bar area, and increased patio space. The lower level will house a cart barn and a new golf learning center. The building is approximately 20,998 square feet.
The new clubhouse would be open to the whole community to rent for meeting/event space, according to Rob Goldman, chief operating officer of the CA. Currently, Hobbit's Glen is a private club.
The CA chose the new building over a similarly priced renovation. Originally three options were to be presented to the CA Board: a renovation, a new clubhouse and a third option. However, a third option wasn't presented.
"There was much ado about not having a 'low-cost option,' as was alluded to in the motion passed by the board in 2010," CA board member Tom Coale noted in his blog, HoCo Rising. "It was suggested that two of the former Planning and Strategy Committee members would have 'let the thing die in committee' if they thought a Hobbit's Glen clubhouse would be voted on without a low-cost option."
The CA board voted 8-2 to approve the clubhouse, according to the Howard County Times.
Ed Coleman of Long Reach and Alex Hekimian of Oakland Mills voted against the project, decisions the Howard County Times said they attributed to cost.
Coale wrote in his blog that the clubhouse is an important capital improvement for Columbia.
"With contribution from the ," wrote Coale, "the price tag will end up being well below $6 million, but in the context of what CA already pays for other programs, this is a justifiable expense."
How much the restaurateur will contribute is unclear.
"The entire agreement is under negotiation," Bob Bellamy, the director of sport and fitness for the CA, said. "No terms have been set."
The CA president stood by the decision and said he was looking forward to moving through the design phase and into construction.
"The board looked at this project very carefully and made sure that the structure fit into the community and serves the golfing community, but also that the building fits within CA financial capabilities," said Nelson.
Do you agree with the board's decision to build a new clubhouse?