With the community more than 40 years old, facilities beginning to show their age and a third generation of homeowners poised to move in, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West is undertaking a space utilization study to ensure its chartered clubs and facilities are aligned to meet the needs of current and future residents.
A systematic approach to updating the Association’s four recreation centers began with a modernization of the R.H. Johnson Complex beginning in the fall of 2017. Attention then moved to Kuentz Rec Center, which was seen as the next center needing an update. It soon became apparent, however, that given all the changes in Sun City West over the last four decades, the best way to meet the needs of all 109 chartered clubs, in the most cost-efficient manner for the long-term, was to review all four recreation centers.
In the summer of 2018, a Space Utilization Study Committee was convened. It was comprised of members of the Chartered Clubs Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Properties Committee and the former Long-Range Planning Committee; as well as staff from the Recreation, Facilities, Project Management and Finance divisions. Their goal was to review the spaces used by all 109 chartered clubs and the Association, as well as the expansion needs of various clubs.
Club members were invited to share their thoughts about their current spaces and their requests for expansion. Facilities staff discussed set up and tear down challenges and time constraints. The Committee made recommendations on space allocation and additions needed to move the Association forward to stay relevant over the next several years, particularly in light of increasing competition from other age-restricted communities.
At this point, a landscape architect and building architect were brought in to explore various configurations at each recreation center facility where the growing clubs’ needs could be met. The ideas were shared with the committee, as well as with the affected clubs. Some changes were made based on feedback, revised drawings were created, and those ideas were presented to the Governing Board at its Dec. 20 Regular meeting.
At that time, the Board approved staff’s recommendation to approve future development of architectural plans for the next three phases of construction. This does not mean any construction is imminent, or even that any plans have been approved. Rather, the approval to move forward allows staff to work with the architect to create more definitive drawings, from which cost estimates can be developed. Those numbers are required so estimates can be placed in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Capital Budget, which is being prepared now.
There will be many more opportunities for the clubs and the community to weigh in on the plans before they are approved. The drawings unveiled Dec. 20 are preliminary. Feedback received from that meeting and future meetings will be taken into consideration when refining the plans and settling on phasing. As of first blush, the proposals include developing the plans in three phases, starting in the next fiscal year and continuing through FY 2021-22.
Specific needs that have been identified include:
- Expand approximately 2,400 square feet for the Palo Verde Patchers to have their own designated room.
- Expand the Women’s/Boomers’ Club by about 2,400 square feet.
- Expand the Kuentz courtyard to include enhanced seating for Association sponsored special events, permanent outdoor heating, and an overflow area for the Stardust Theater.
- Add approximately 96 new parking spaces and leave room for future growth of Pickleball.
PALM RIDGE –
- Renovate both the men’s and women’s restrooms as required by Maricopa County. Add two additional toilets in the women’s restroom and one additional urinal in the men’s room.
- Expand the Stained Glass Club approximately 1,800 square feet into the Computer’s West area.
- Move Computer’s West on a temporary basis to the Palo Verde Room and then to its final home in the Library expansion in phase two. (Input from Computer’s West requesting only one move be made has been received since the original presentation of this material.)
- Expand the backstage area of the Summit Hall to provide dressing rooms for performing artists and additional storage in the future.
- Plan for possible future growth of Pickleball in phase two or three.
- Give Yoga its designated studio of 2,500 square feet at the end of the underutilized space at Beardsley pool. There would be a cost savings compared to other possible locations since there are already three walls and a roof. An additional wall would need to be built separating the room from the pool. This area would also require the use of a sound deadening material.
- Recognize the fact the Garden Club would like to rebuild their greenhouse and they have the funds to do so.
R.H. JOHNSON –
- Expand the Social Hall to include a great open space or amphitheater with an extended patio. The Association sponsored special events have shown significant growth over the last five years. This expansion could generate much needed income by providing a greater indoor venue and increasing the “Great Lawn” to serve as a major event draw for the Northwest Valley. This expansion would include the demolition of Mini Golf that currently sits on 2.5 acres, and move it to a smaller, accessible Mini Golf at Beardsley.
Look for more information and future meetings on these plans.