Update: A follow up public forum to review the plans in further detail is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in Palm Ridge Summit Hall, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive. The community is encouraged to attend and provide input on the plans.

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. 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.

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.