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RCSCW board to consider $3.1M in capital improvements

Posted 5/5/17

Recreation Centers of Sun City Recreation Centers of Sun City West Chief Financial Officer Tony Struck (at podium) addresses the Governing Board and three dozen residents at the April 27 regular …

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RCSCW board to consider $3.1M in capital improvements

Recreation Centers of Sun City Recreation Centers of Sun City West Chief Financial Officer Tony Struck (at podium) addresses the Governing Board and three dozen residents at the April 27 regular board meeting in the lecture hall at R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd.
By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia

Rec centers officials advanced plans for more than $3 million in capital improvement projects for the coming year.

Among other business conducted at its April 27 regular meeting, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West Governing Board approved a slate of $3.1 million in capital improvement projects for final consideration in the fiscal year 2017-18 budget at its next regular meeting 9 a.m. Thursday, May 25 in the lecture hall at R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd.

Board member Jim Young explained the reason for preliminary approval of capital projects ahead of the formal budget approval later this month.

“The purpose of this is that we have a lot of projects over $100,000. If we put them all in one line item, then we have to accept or reject them all at once,” Mr. Young said.

RCSCW Chief Financial Officer Tony Struck further clarified the meeting’s purpose in an e-mail following last week’s regular board meeting.

“Governing Board policy and guidelines require that each of the capital budget items over $100,000 be considered or rejected at the April regular Governing Board meeting prior to the final approval of the annual financial plan (budget) in May,” he stated.

Capital projects

Comprising $2.18 million in capital improvements approved at the meeting were a list of projects to fix and upgrade aging facilities in the community. Each of the projects has been identified in the corporation’s five-year plan and reserve study, according to Mr. Struck.

The largest of those, replacement of bunker sand at Grandview Golf Course, 14260 W. Meeker Blvd., will cost an estimated $401,453. Mr. Young pointed out the project has been in the works for some time.

“We’re in the process of changing them all and this one is next,” he said.

Ongoing, phased concrete replacement, landscaping and new lighting at the R.H. Johnson campus will cost $300,000.

Replacement and maintenance of HVAC units atop the buildings at the Plan Ridge Recreation Center, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive, was estimated at $159,439.

“It’s part of our reserve plan to make sure everybody’s cool,” explained Mr. Struck, drawing a ripple of laughter from those in attendance.

With more than 30 individual AC units serving the campus, staff will examine each to determine which will need replacement and which may only need fixing. The final cost of the project may be different, even less, once completed, Mr. Struck said.

Another roof repair consists of paper felt that must be replaced under the roof tiles at the Kuentz Recreation Center, 14400 R.H. Johnson Blvd. RCSCW Project Superintendent Larry Griffith said the $265,000 project will exclude the roof over the Kuentz wood shop building, which was serviced on its own seven years ago.

The roof of the R.H. Johnson Sports Pavilion will also need re-coating at a cost of $182,000 and Mr. Young dryly offered his analysis again.

“This is here so we don’t have to wear rain coats when we bowl,” he said.

Continuing phased parking lot lighting for the parking lots at the R.H. Johnson campus will focus this year on the area near the library and the Men’s Club at a cost of $160,000, while renovation of the R.H. Johnson Library, 13801 W. Meeker Blvd., will include new carpet, paint and shelving for $115,000.

‘Placeholder’ projects

The board also considered an array of projects described by Mr. Young as “placeholder” items, which are anticipated but not yet fully scoped.

Among those projects, each tagged at $100,000, are HVAC boiler and water heater replacements; community sign replacements and upgrades; energy efficient lighting and solar; safety and integrity issues; and change of demographics projects, which may address emergent needs (though not wants), which could be raised by chartered clubs during the coming fiscal year, Mr. Young explained.

The smallest project entails renovation of the Desert Trails Clubhouse, 22525 N. Executive Way, for $94,500, which has already been scoped and planned. The project is also part of multi-year, phased process, Mr. Young said.

“This is the last of our clubhouses at golf courses that need renovating,” he said.

Some of the placeholder projects may not wind up costing $100,000, but rec centers officials prefer to get board approval anyway when projects are close to the required threshold, Mr. Struck said.

Another $100,000 placeholder plan to expand the Governing Board conference room was unanimously rejected. Mr. Young said he and his nine-member Budget and Finance Committee had devoted considerable time to deliberating on it and were opposed to the expansion.

“I see no need for this,” he added.

Board member Ed Van Cott agreed, pointing out the expansion – intended to increase the number of public gallery seats in the room – would make space for 14 new chairs at an estimated cost of $7,000 each. Though he opposes it now, it will be worth discussing in the future, he said.

“I don’t think this is worth it, but I’m not against studying it,” Mr. Van Cott said.

Peggy Robbins, board president-elect, concurred.

“I am in favor of this, but I do think there needs to be more time given to discussion and research. We need another year,” Ms. Robbins said.

Serving up tennis

The largest item considered for preliminary approval was the R.H. Johnson tennis complex renovation, which has been a source of controversy in the community, (“No love lost,” Sun City West Independent, April 12, 2107).

The project was the topic of its own April 25 public forum, apart from the three public forums scheduled for the overall budget. A resident-circulated petition garnered more than 1,000 signatures, prompting the board to schedule a second tennis project public forum 10 a.m. Thursday, May 11 in the R.H. Johnson social hall.

The board approved consideration of the first phase of the project at a cost of $961,477, which will include topping eight courts with post-stressed concrete and upgrading the lighting. The move does not constitute approval of the project, which must still be approved as part of the final budget, Mr. Young explained.

“We’re putting money in the budget in case the plan moves forward,” he said. “This is only to include this line item in the fiscal 2017-18 budget.”

Even if approved, any more work in future years or phases would require additional approval, he said.