I started this thread because a lot of discussion has taken place on minutes threads' and I think that a thread should be started regarding the new R&IT (maybe even a new subforum to help organize this better).
Before we go any further, I am concerned because I do not feel that the club is ready to tear down the current layout.
The reason I say this is because the club hopes to have something to present during the 2011 train show, correct?
I believe I sent a draft of a tentative schedule to Drew or AJ I can't remember who it was. In any case, it outlined an ideal timeline, which I still feel would be a good starting point.
My schedule showed a final "outing" of the current layout (op session, public display, whatever) in the final weeks of the year that are known as post-Tiger Tracks weeks. That gives two weeks for an effective op session to take place, and whatever else.
After (or during) the christmas break, the layout would be torn down and then we could then start building the new layout. The reason I thought of this angle of attack is that we can have a "last hurrah" before we tear down teh current layout - and the public has ONE LAST opportunity to see the layout as it is. I don't know if it was made clear to the public that 2010 may be the last public viewing of the R&IT, and many people come back each year to see what has taken place on the layout, etc etc... In addition, we would have, basically, TEN+ months to make progress on the new layout, and have something running for the following TTTS.
This is probably the pessimist in me, but I don't know the skill level of our current membership in terms of wood working, track laying, electrical, and the list goes on. I also know how the club has worked over the years, and I think the club is asking for a heap of trouble, trying to get something to show for at the 2011 TTTS.
I think that we need to spend a LOT more time on track planning, because it took us 10+ years to get to where we are now. We started off small, and there are reasons behind the design and size of our current layout - our new-er members may not know these reasons, but one of them was that we shared the room with Techmillia (yearbook - not sure if I got the name right), so we built the layout to occupy exactly half of the room. After a while, Tech never actually formed or something like that, so we took over the rest of the room. I think that if we had the ENTIRE room to start with, our layout would be a lot different than it is now.
I would like to see more time and thought given into the whole process, and I think that most of the alumni would also like to see more thought and effort put into the new layout. It has been made clear what the membership would like - which is great. But I think the club is speeding too much, but that is also hurting because we don't know where we are going at this point. It's already been determined that iRIT is the last outing for the layout (btw, going back three paragraphs, does the public know this is the last outing?), but if we don't have a CONCRETE plan by then, we will be grasping at straws and rushing to get SOMETHING in place.
To sum it up, time management has never been on RITMRC's side, and yes, you can blame RIT's tough academic schedule, amongst other things, but on a project of this scope, I highly recommend that the e-board re-consider the decision to tear down the layout this summer. Doing so will only give you less than THREE months (thats not even a quarter, folks, when you factor in train show weekends (syracuse, batavia, etc), final exams, midterms, whatever) - which is why I suggested my already-mentioned schedule because that gives you TEN months (realistically, four whole months, factoring in summer, breaks, etc). That's a LOT of breathing room!
I would like to hear what the e-board's thoughts on this is, as well as the current membership and alumni's thoughts. I don't know if my schedule was brought forth to the layout planning committee, and I don't think I posted it on here. I would be MORE than glad to post an attachment for everyone to read - I would like to remind you that it is just a tentative schedule, but you can actually see where I was going with it.