Improving facilities and providing unique space for community members in Sun City West has been in discussion regarding the utilization of the shuffleboard room.
The Sports Pavilion and Bowling Committee meeting began discussion Feb. 10 of possible changes to the billiards and shuffleboard rooms, in order to make better use of the space. A preliminary plan was discussed during the group’s March 9 meeting.
Barry Hardesty, Sports Pavilion manager, said after several weeks of discussion and monitoring the billiards room for the past two weeks, it was determined eliminating four tables would not effect the availability of play, despite previous community members’ concerns.
“We did a count of tables every hour and I personally counted to make sure it was accurate and the busiest time in the billiards room would be a Monday when the ladies play for club and even then we still have nine tables open,” he explained. “Other time periods there were anywhere from 10 to 20 tables open at all times. That means eliminating four tables we are proposing would not interfere with billiards activities.”
Additionally, Mr. Hardesty observed at no time was anyone waiting on a table, which proves the proposed change would not take away from someone playing in the room.
Looking at the shuffleboard participation numbers in January, there were 288 participants and February 289. Mr. Hardesty said the numbers show the community is not too busy in the shuffleboard room either.
“Naturally, if we take shuffleboard outside, we have mobility. We are using numbers of what is happening is this room and not forecasting what can happen if it is moved outside and that’s why we are proposing the change,” he said.
Sports Pavilion and Bowling Committee Chairwoman Sue Fitzsimons said they met with the three clubs who utilize the space and spoke at great lengths about shuffleboard being relocated to the basketball courts at Beardsley Recreation Center, 12755 W. Beardsley Road, located outside.
“There is sport court material that can be laid down on top of the existing cement and we brought that to administration who recommended the particular area outside of the pool at Beardsley,” she said. “The court is relatively inexpensive as opposed to building an entire new outdoor facility. I think the shuffleboard players were fairly satisfied.”
The committee provided a rendering of a possible remodel in the existing shuffleboard room, which was presented by Carl Wilhelm, Recreation Centers of Sun City West project manager. He said there is fluid seating for 100 people and the plan as it stands at this point would not require any engineering. The rendering showed Wii bowling on the right side of the room and seating that would go along an arch with a pony wall with seats and tables. There are also tables on the other side where a bar would be centered along the wall and would also have darts and some tables. Modular seating would be used.
“The 100 seats represent club-style dining with high and low pub-style seating with couches and low coffee tables,” Ms. Fitzsimons said. “There would be 24-30 seats along the bar with small and large screen televisions on the back wall. And that leaves a space of approximately 1,250 square feet of open area for entertainment or something else.”
Committee member Joe Hoyer said after walking the space for a proposed patio extension and increasing the size of the existing windows, he realized there’s no justification for increasing the area.
Goldene Butler, another committee member, said she visualized the space as a way to make money, adding more tables, rather than add a huge expenditure of an entire new bar.
“Things like that really need to be thought about to support the success of our room to be able to at least pay for itself, which I think is important,” she said.
Mr. Hardesty agreed, upgrades can be made and the community can up the game on beer and already have a four-tap system that would not be at a cost, with a container to hold beer cans and that too will save money.
“Carl’s design is very good, and we can tweak it a little bit. Billiards will be happy we won’t go into their room at this time as well,” he said.
Discussion by the committee after visiting the billiards table proved moving shuffleboard, darts or Wii bowling into the space, separated by lockers, would not work at this time. However, a configuration for a meeting space down the road was also mentioned.
The committee gave conceptual approval to move into the next steps of the project and will bring the proposal to the governing board in an upcoming meeting. Additionally, Mr. Wilhelm will have numbers for the cost of the architectural and design fees.