Sun City West residents upset over costly renovation

Posted at 5:46 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 00:59:41-04

In Sun City West life for seniors is about recreation and relaxation.

“Can’t beat it — best community in the entire world," resident Frank Bagnato said.

But these days, a group of upset seniors are not relaxing after learning management for The Recreation Centers of Sun City West plans to renovate their tennis courts to the tune of about $2 million.

“That just doesn’t make any economic sense," Bagnato said. "I don’t care what the problems are with the facility."

The problems are hard to spot just by simply looking at the courts.

There are cracks beneath the surface from years and years of only temporary fixes. The quality of the facilities have been deteriorating since management first put in a pro-bounce material 15 years ago, according to Project Superintendent Larry Griffith.

Each time temporary repairs are made it's costly.

“It's that amenity's iturn to get brought up to speed. So it’s a lot of money, but it’s going to last a long, long time," said Katy O'Grady, general services officer with The Recreation Centers of Sun City West.

When it’s done, it should last about 50 years. O'Grady said. The quality of the amenities is what draws people to their community.

“We want our community to be well-maintained, but we only want to maintain what we actually use," said Dudley Gibson, who opposes the project.

Neighbors complain the tennis facilities don’t get used much, even though management says they have more than 500 tennis club members.

Wednesday afternoon the courts were empty.

“Given the size of the expenditure, this is something that the residents ought to be able to vote on," Gibson said.

Residents started a petition and have gathered about 850 of the 1,000 signatures needed to put the issue to a vote.

In the meantime, The Recreation Centers of Sun City West is having a public forum April 18 at 10 a.m. in the RHJ Social Hall for neighbors to voice their concerns.