The SIPP Story
In the fall of 2011, SIPP and the City of Portsmouth established a unique public/private community partnership that has received national attention and accomplished much in a short time. After 18 months of joint work sessions SIPP and the City signed a five-year lease giving SIPP the opportunity to implement its operating and capital improvement plan for the pool, with $150,000 in annual support for the pool operations from the City.
SIPP has committed to raise a minimum of $750,000 for capital improvements and repairs over the five-year life of the lease. The pool remains the property of the City Portsmouth and the employees remain city employees. SIPP, working closely with the City and pool staff, provides operational guidance and support on programming, publicity, membership, building improvements and other work.
As far back as January 2010 SIPP began to work to find an alternative. Since then, SIPP has invested options and found creative solutions to many of the issues initially thought to be insurmountable. The list includes:
Physical plant and operation efficiency:
- Implemented a new business model, with assistance from the city, that cut expenses for pool operations by over 72% yearly.
- Conducted an engineering study of the facility resulting in a five-year plan for capital improvements and repairs.
- Improved the programs and scheduling to increase pool use and offerings.
- Established a set of aqua fitness programs, including “Go Vertical” and rehabilitation programs.
- Added professional fitness services in aquatic therapy and physical training.
- Provided a medical clinic for seniors.
- Created a fitness fair for all ages.
- Recently certified 50+ citizens in CPR.
- Recently certified 90 new lifeguards.
- Recruited over 1,000 supporters to attend the city budget hearings, the largest turnout in history.
- Increased membership and increased the rentals.
- Increased the overall number of users to 100,000+ individual visits in 2011.
- Held community volunteer work days.
- Held a medical clinic for seniors.
- Energized a community partnership that includes citizen volunteers, city departments (Recreation, Human Resources, Technology, Finance, Public Works, Legal and the City Manager) and pool staff and management.