By The Riderwood Reporter Staff
Please come and join the next “Conversation with Administration” at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, in Maryland Hall at Montgomery Station.
These monthly conversations provide an opportunity for residents to share concerns and receive feedback. They also help Administration understand
what we can do to improve service to residents. Transcripts of the updates, questions, and answers from the meeting may be rephrased
without changing the accuracy of the information presented or omitted due to spacing issues for this column.
The following reflects the highlights of Conversation with Administration conducted on July 17:
Updates from the Staff
• Associate Executive Director Dee Dee Gray-Weaver started by talking about a change to the Special Trips program. The department is implementing a process that will provide more in-depth information to bus drivers before the trip’s departure. This change is being employed to make sure that all trip goers and the bus driver are aware of vital information.
• The Special Trips team is looking to curb issues with residents not returning to the bus on time after a trip and missing the departure. As residents leave the bus, the driver will now hand out cards that have the driver’s name, the cell phone number, the pickup location, and pick up time.
• Assistant Director of General Services Chris Davis announced that the multi-year plan to replace the Makeup Air Units (MAU) is continuing along. So far in 2019, the MAU in Park View has been replaced with King’s Court, Calvert Landing, and Fox Run still left to be completed by the year’s end.
• Riderwood was recently approved to begin the process of cleaning all the awnings on campus. The cleaning will start at the end of July and conclude by mid-September.
• Simone Gomez was recently promoted from the Reoccupancy Manager position to the Project Manager role.
• The Encore Theater and the Terrace Level of Lakeside Commons were shut down on Monday, July 15. That space is scheduled to take eight to nine weeks to complete with an estimated re-opening date of early to mid-September.
• HVAC issues continue to cause problems in the Lakeside Commons satellite fitness center, and the opening is therefore delayed further. Residents will be notified when the satellite fitness center is inspected and opened.
• The black plastic in the link overlooking the Wellness Center construction site has been removed, allowing residents an unobstructed view of the work.
• The storm drain installation that had closed the terrace level entrance to Calvert Landing is completed, and the door is now re-opened. Trees removed during the project are scheduled to be replaced soon.
• Town Center carpeting installation is almost complete. The contractor and Riderwood staff will be going around soon to identify any issues with the work so that it can be repaired before the project is officially declared complete.
• The new Calvert Landing elevator is completed and is working correctly. The construction crew from Plano Coudon is currently finishing up the elevator lobby with an expected opening in mid-August pending successful inspections from the elevator company and the state.
• The administration is aware of the noise generated by the temporary cooling towers and apologizes for the inconvenience. Two of the four motors on the cooling towers will be shut down at night, and the fans to the system will be shut down as well to try and combat excessive noise. In the event that the water temperature climbs too high, the system will automatically reactivate to full capacity, but administration expects this to be rather uncommon.
• Dining Services is currently planning the menu for the new Blue Heron Pub. The menu will include new pub fare as well as some Overlook favorites and unique carryout options during the Overlook renovations.
• Starting August 5, dining room menus will be changing monthly as opposed to on a quarterly basis. The new process will also include the addition of a weekly vegetarian special dish and a weekly internationally themed special dish.
Questions from Residents
• My cell phone does not have a strong signal in my apartment. How will this impact me getting Swift911 text messages?
The SwiftReach phone message service will continue to put out voice messages, including spoken versions of the Swift911 text messages.
• While the cleanliness of the hallways in residential buildings has improved, there are still issues with vacuuming in the upper levels of some buildings.
We will continue to monitor this situation and make the necessary changes.
• Could the final shopping shuttle of the day be adjusted from 1:00 p.m. to a slightly later time such as 3:00 p.m.?
The shopping shuttle driver changes his route to begin picking up employees from the local high schools at that time. Because of this need, we can’t offer a later shopping shuttle every day, but we will look into possibly adjusting the final pick up one or two times a week. We will notify residents if this change takes place.
• I want to thank the General Services team for their work in replacing the awning at the link between Lakeside Commons and Meadowbrook Square. It was completed quickly and efficiently!
Thank you for the kind words, and we will pass that along to the team.
• Are all of the security staff certified medical technicians? I ask because a resident recently had a fall, was checked on by security, and returned to her apartment. It was later determined the resident had a broken foot.
All full time and flex (on-call) employees are Maryland or nationally registered emergency medical technicians or registered emergency medical responders. While the EMR certification is slightly less training (only about 10-15 hours less), they are still more than qualified to attend to people in a medical emergency. A not uncommon issue that occurs at Riderwood and outside the community is a distracting injury where the more painful aspects of the injury mask or distract from the more distressing issue. The Riderwood security team and outside medical providers can only assess a person’s well-being based on the information provided in the situation. We will be happy to meet with any resident who would like to learn more about security protocol and procedure.
• I live on the sixth floor of a residential building that is adjacent to the Wellness Center construction. I’ve noticed the current roof to the building is highly reflective, and I’d like to know how the finished roof will look.
One section of the roof will be a green roof so that it will have landscaping. The other part will be equipment and a cage that will be less reflective than the existing construction materials.
• What will be done about the carpeting in the Fox Run elevators?
Riderwood has made a budgetary request for 2020 to have three elevators cabs refinished, and if approved, one will be the Fox Run elevator.
• I’ve noticed that the service in Seasons Dining Room is occasionally slow. Is there a reason for this and can anything be done to remedy it?
We are sorry for these issues. We are currently redesigning the training process to incorporate having our servers more engaged in an attempt to have them better recognize when delays like this are occurring. Our suggestion is to notify a manager about any issues while they are happening. It can be investigated and addressed more quickly than if it is brought to our attention at a later time.
• Why are the ramp buses not used for the shopping shuttle for residents that cannot manage the steps on the other buses?
At this time, we only have two ramp buses, and one of them is dedicated to the shuttle that goes around the campus. The biggest issue we have with the ramp buses is that they are designed for ten to twenty ramp deployments per day and ours do well over that (in the triple digits). The durability of the mechanisms is not to our standards, and so we have to make sure that a ramp bus is available for the on-campus shuttle. We have requested two additional ramp buses in the 2020 budget, and if we can look into the shopping shuttle utilizing a ramp bus in the future.
• Are there current plans to use the existing Village Square pool as a therapeutic pool once the new Wellness Center opens?
There are no definitive plans for that space, though, at this time, there is no plan to continue to operate that pool due to the costs incurred for maintenance and safety.
• I want to send a big thank you to Jeff Kimbell, Scott Monfils, and the entire dining services team for purchasing knives with serrated edges. It makes cutting meat much easier!
Thank you for that comment.
• In the two months I’ve lived at Riderwood, I’ve noticed a change in the taste of the tap water. Is Riderwood responsible for or aware of any adjustments that may have caused this?
The city performs any water treatment, and we are not aware of any changes to the water supply. We do have regular contact with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, so we should be made aware of any adjustments.
• The new cubbies in Lakeside Commons will not be accessible while the mail is being delivered. Can the cubbies be repositioned to allow for access while the mail is being distributed?
The reasoning behind the positioning of the cubbies was spacing issues with the new USPS mailboxes. We can look into a potential resolution to this, and we’ll let residents know if anything changes.