Harbour Club Update
Updated: Oct 4
On Tuesday, September 26, The Harbour Club Planning Committee presented an update on the new Harbour Club plans. Harbour Club committee members participated in the presentation. Here are the preliminary plans from the Architects.
Left to right, clockwise: John Rothengast, VP FHPOS, Harbour Club liaison; Steve Steinbeck, Harobur CLub committee member; Susanne Pendleton, Harbour Club committee member; Bill Drechsler, Chair, Harbour Club Committee.
John Rothengast, POA Board Vice President and Harbour Club liaison, opened the presentation by dispelling numerous rumors that were floating around.
The Harbour Club design and construction have already been budgeted for in your annual POA dues. Your dues will not “Double” - the last $100 increase is projected for March 2024 as set forth, announced, and approved three boards ago.
The POA has a current loan to pay off the 385 acres bought in 2016. Once that loan is complete, we will finance a separate loan for the Harbour Club. This allocation encompasses the project and any associated operating costs. For more information on this, log into your Front Steps portal and review the Annual Meeting notes and budget.
The Harbour Cub will replace the old Shoreline Club House that was removed in July of 2020 (voted on in 2018, asbestos removed in 2019). As explained in the 2024 Annual Budget Meeting, because it is a replacement amenity, and the cost does not exceed 15% of the annual budget, a community-wide vote was not required.
The Harbour Club will be part of the Fairfield Harbour amenities. Membership of the Harbour Club is for Fairfield Harbour residents and their guests. The resident member must accompany guests.
Rothengast explained that the 14,000-square-foot Harbour Club is scheduled to break ground in 2025 with estimated construction costs, site work, contents, and landscaping costs between $6-7 million. The new club will be where the previous Shoreline Country Club was on Pelican Drive. The new floor level of the clubhouse will be 14 feet, well above county requirements and surpassing Florence’s flooding at 10.6 feet.
Focus groups were held over multiple years, asking for community direction on resident’s wish lists. The #1 request was a new Community Center because we have outgrown the current space requirements as a community with over 2800 homes and over 3,500 residents. Other items on the Strategic Plan were a dog park, playground at Red Sail Park, and walking paths; all these are completed.
Steve Steinbeck reviewed the master plan. He shared the three main elements of the campus.
1. Clubhouse: The clubhouse is planned as a multipurpose facility for plays, conventions, meetings, concerts, a catering kitchen, wedding venues, a grand ballroom, a bar, and administrative space.
2. Amphitheater for bands and movie nights: The hill will be graded; you can bring your own golf cart, chairs, or blanket. Stage and electric will be permanent. Established area for golf cart parking and mobile food vendors. The amphitheater will be wired for sound systems and be handicap accessible.
3. Community Pool: This location is across the street on the old tee box overlooking the lake. Kiddie pool and shaded areas for relaxation, picnics, and enjoyment are proposed. Lap lanes are included and walk-in capability.
Susanne Pendelton addressed the growing need to compete in the New Bern market. She confirmed Fairfield Harbour is the largest community in Craven County, and other comparable neighbors all have clubhouses – Taberna, Greenbriar, Carolina Colours – even though these communities are much smaller than Fairfield Harbour. Susanne confirmed that adding a desirable clubhouse will increase property values after completion.
Next on the presentation stage was Bill Drechsler, the Harbour Club chair, who is a 32 FH-year resident and retired architect. Bill shared he has been working on various clubhouse committees for over 14 years.
Bill shared ten goals of the Harbour Club:
A catering kitchen, not a working kitchen, would not compete with our current neighborhood restaurant, The Pointe.
Build with low-maintenance materials.
Handicap accessible throughout the entire building.
14’ elevation above sea level to avoid flooding, we have a 12’ flood plane. The building’s siding will withstand 120 mph winds. The flood level with Hurricane Florence was 10.6 feet; our new clubhouse floor was 14 feet.
Fulfill community needs. We currently have more than 3,500 residents in FH; the clubhouse is designed to accommodate growth.
Have adequate meeting rooms to accommodate the 62 FH clubs needing meeting space.
Readily accessible site to allow arrival by golf carts, cars, boats, walking, or bikes.
Take advantage of the Inner Harbour views.
Portray a distinctive Down East Coastal Carolina design, including a metal roof and shake siding.
Find and hire an architect who has experience and can show examples of the type of project we want to build, and can provide full service. After reviewing more than 19 firms up and down the East Coast, Dunn & Dalton Architects from Kinston was selected.
Bill then reviewed the floor plans.
The building has a 45-degree angle orientation to maximize the water and sunset views.
Circular/covered driveway for drop off/pickup.
The lobby has a vaulted/pitched ceiling. Waiting areas, and restrooms easily accessible.
Grand Hall is 3800 square feet with timber open trusses, 8’ on center, storage for tables and chairs, and coat storage in a Dutch Door system. Seating for dinner is 200 capacity and 288 for plays and concerts. Two portable stages are in a bump-out assessable area.
Octagonal porch for enjoying water views and sunsets.
Catering kitchen with dedicated unloading and catering parking area. Buffet serving area.
Lounges/Bar for events.
Meeting Rooms – two meeting rooms to hold 15-16 people, meeting rooms to hold up 28 people, large meeting rooms to hold up to 100 people with breakout options for 40/60 room size.
Restrooms dedicated to the meeting area.
Administration offices in the back of the building with dedicated parking for POA staff.
Waterfront gazebo usage for parties, weddings, birthdays etc.
Landscaping with terracing for outdoor events.
Area for tent setup and permanent water features.
Various presentation boards were set up around the community center. After the presentation, the floor was open to questions.
The next quarterly update is scheduled for the end of December and highlights architects’ progress. This will be reported through the Beacon and Weekly Update.