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GRF Board greenlights massage therapy at Fitness Center

By Sam Richards

Staff writer


(Feb. 1, 2023) Massage therapy services will likely come to Rossmoor’s Tice Creek Fitness Center in the near future, as the GRF Board on Thursday voted unanimously to seek a therapist who would lease space at the center.

Calling massage therapy “a long-requested service” in Rossmoor, General Manager Jeff Matheson told the GRF Board that the former Massage and Body Works Club, upon its disbanding in early 2018, donated a height-adjustable table to GRF with the hope that it would one day be used as part of a GRF-sanctioned massage program. Some therapists have already expressed interest in such a lease, which could be from $300 to $500 a month. The therapists, he said, would have their own insurance and would provide towels and other items associated with massage therapy.

“We’re in good shape to be able to have facility space” for massage therapy, Matheson added. Therapists are carefully vetted by both the state and cities for licensing and are highly regulated, he said.

Wildfire protection work

Chris Bachman, fire marshal of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, told the Board on Thursday that preparation work for an effort to reduce the combustible material on the hillsides surrounding Rossmoor should begin in April or May. Preparation of studies needed to satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act must happen before the actual work to clear combustible brush and other material can begin.

This CEQA work will eat up about $500,000 of a $3.1 million wildfire protection grant that ConFire received from the state’s CalFire firefighting agency in June 2022. The grant will help make significant reductions of the easy-to-burn dry brush around the Rossmoor community, forming a protective break around Rossmoor estimated to be about 85 percent of what’s needed to completely surround the community. ConFire had originally applied in 2022 for $5 million in grant money.

A request for proposals for consultants to carry out that needed CEQA work were to have gone out a few days after Thursday’s meeting, Bachman said.

Bachman told the board that similar fuel reduction efforts are now underway between Orinda and Moraga.

Officials from Rossmoor and from the City of Walnut Creek helped ConFire lobby for that grant.

Rossmoor residents living near the interface of development and open space will be consulted in advance concerning the specific measures that will be taken, Bachman said.

Project management help

The GRF Board on Thursday approved spending $5,700 as the first step to line up project management for major upcoming capital projects, including the pickleball facility and phase two of both the solar installation and Gateway studio refurbishments.

The Board voted unanimously to hire Oakland-based ArcPath Project Delivery Inc. to help usher through those and other previously approved capital projects, including accessibility improvements for the back patio at Dollar Clubhouse, security-measure pedestrian access gates, resurfacing of the tennis courts and assistance with the golf bridge replacement.

Matheson said Fred Ponce, ArcPath’s owner, had been involved with Rossmoor’s Fitness Center remodeling project in early 2018.

Managers for these projects are all the more important, Matheson said, given Rossmoor is without a resident services director, the position Matheson left to become general manager this month. He said that position, with whatever responsibilities it will ultimately include, may take several months to fill.

Meanwhile, Matheson said he expects work on Phase II of GRF’s solar project – putting up solar panels above parts of Gateway – could begin this summer.

In other news from the Jan. 26 GRF Board meeting:

  • Matheson said he expects the sale of the former GRF Medical Building to close sometime in mid-2023, as its prospective buyers continue to “due diligence” research on the property across from the Rossmoor Shopping Center.
  • While play on the Creekside and Dollar golf courses resumed Jan. 24 after a month of rainstorms, the hillside that left a huge mess on Dollar’s Hole 3 might require years of work to shore it up, Director of Golf Mark Heptig told the GRF Board. The mess created by a large landslide onto that Hole 3 – closing that and three other holes for the near term – will make Dollar a 14-hole course for the time being, he said. Longer-term work, Heptig said, will probably include installing some sort of landscaping screen on the hillside to help hold that soil in place. “That particular area will continue to be a problem,” Heptig said.
  • The staff of the Recreation Department also presented a deep dive, detailing how it handles events, excursions, classes, room reservations, and more.