By Rusty Bradshaw
With work beginning on the Grand Recreation Center, 10415 W. Grand Ave., the Recreation Centers of Sun City Board of Directors will again consider a proposed layout for a new building planned for the site.
RCSC officials purchased the property, which included a structure that used to house an Asianbuffet restaurant, for $750,000 in May 2016. The plan for the three-plus-acre property was to renovate the existing 10,000-square-foot building to provide additional club space. Further plans were to building another structure on the property for more club use.
In a first reading, the RCSC board approved a tentative layout design for the second building. That sends the proposal to the next board meeting — 9 a.m. Monday, May 13 in the auditorium at Sundial Recreation Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave. — for a second reading. If it passes it will go to a final reading and consideration of passage in June.
Chris Herring, RCSC assistant general manager, said the new building was planned to include 7,000 square feet to be shared by the Vintage Vehicles Club of Sun City and the Sportsmens Club with an additional 3,500 square feet available for other occupants. He added the Oakmont Ceramics Club officials requested to move to the additional space.
However, Dale Lehrer, RCSC board vice president, believes further study is needed to determine the most need before designating a club to fill the space.
“Some board members have been touring facilities, and it seems Oakmont Ceramics is the least in need of additional space,” she said.
Ms. Lehrer said the Fairway Recreation Center, 10600 W. Peoria Ave., ceramics club has 2,394 square feet of space with an average membership of 115 and 75% of the space is used for fixed equipment, and Lakeview’s ceramics club has 2,112 square feet with 58 members and 57% space used for equipment. In comparison, Oakmont has 1,598 square feet, 58 members and 40% space taken by equipment.
“We need to make sure all clubs know this space will be available,” Ms. Lehrer said.
Oakmont Ceramics Club members voiced their support of the club moving to Grand Recreation Center.
“Our fire code limit is 36 people in the club room,” said Julie Mattern. “We are almost on top of each other.”
She also said five members are in wheelchairs and it is hard for them to get around in the room. She added there are problems with electrical, plumbing and drainage at the Oakmont Recreation Center, 10725 W. Oakmont Drive, ceramics club room.
Cindy Pataglia said she has nearly walked out of the club a few times because there is not enough room to do ceramics. Gina Suski said ceramics provides participants with a sense of creativity, sharing and a release of tension.
“Oakmont is the oldest rec center and the ceramics club is probably the oldest club,” she said. “Maybe that should amount to something.”
The board passed the motion to a second reading, but only regarding the building layout. Determination of a club to fill the extra space will be made later, according to Jerry DeLano, RCSC board president.
Vintage Vehicles Club members also have concerns about their planned new space at Grand Recreation Center.
“The Vintage Vehicle Club was not involved at all in the layout plan of the building,” said Gary Ouzier.
He said club officials had talked with a metal building contractor who already put together a design. However, Jerry DeLano, RCSC board president said any suggestions for building designs should go through RCSC staff.
Club member Jon Bramer, a former RCSC board member, said club input was crucial in putting together a building for its needs.
“If you don’t have experience in car restoration, you don’t know how to set this up,” he said.
The Auto Restoration Club in Sun City West had a building constructed for it a few years ago but now has some concerns, according to Mr. Bramer.
“The Sun City West club members say if they had it to do over again they would do things differently,” he said. “We do have a design that works.”Mr. DeLano suggested sharing the club’s design with Mr. Herring.
IF YOU GO:
What: Recreation Centers of Sun City board
When: 9 a.m. Monday, May 13
Where: Auditorium at Sundial Recreation Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave.