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Pool construction on time and within budget

Pool construction on time and within budget

Construction of the renovated R.H. Johnson Pool continues, on time and within budget.

A question came up at Tuesday’s Recreation Centers of Sun City West budget hearing about whether the pool project was proceeding as planned. One speaker said she had heard a rumor in the community that the project was over budget.

CFO Tony Struck confirmed the project is within budget and still scheduled for completion within the Aug. 31 deadline. The project is being completed under a design-build process, similar to a Construction Manager at Risk process. That means the Association hired a general contractor, ForeSight Design and Construction, who acts as the lead on the project. ForeSight assumes all the risk if the project goes over budget. ForeSight is responsible for hiring all the trades that work on the project – those trades are bid out, and the lowest responsible bid on each trade is hired for the various portions of the project.

The CMAR process is common among cities that do larger projects, but this design-build is a first for the Recreation Centers of Sun City West. “We recognized this aquatics project was larger than any project we had undertaken before,” said General Manager Mike Whiting. “We were well into the planning stages, having met several times with a committee comprised of community members, Board members and staff. When it became apparent the project was beyond the scope of our project manager, who already had dozens of capital projects on his plate, I approached the Board about using the design-build process.”

Whiting solicited recommendations on a project manager with pool design experience, and ForeSight was recommended. ForeSight was interviewed and its references were checked. The Governing Board reviewed the process and agreed to hire ForeSight as the general manager/CMAR. CMAR is responsible for gathering and selecting the bids in each trade. Should any of the trades come in over budget, ForeSight will be responsible for any overruns. The only way the Rec Centers would be responsible for an overrun is if we change the scope of the project, which is not planned.

Also at Tuesday’s budget forum, residents asked a number of questions about the tennis court project, dues and other issues. “We always appreciate our members taking time out of their schedules to attend these forums,” said General Manager Mike Whiting. “It’s especially important when there are so many rumors out there and misinformation. I really applaud those who might have heard a rumor and decided to attend so they could find out for themselves what the truth is.”

Residents were advised to sign up for the enews ( for all the latest news from the Rec Centers. In addition, the pool flyover video members requested at the forum can be found at

The budget presentation can be found at

Members are encouraged to attend the next two budget forums: 1 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in Summit Hall B at the Palm Ridge; and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, in the Lecture Hall.

Photos: Rebar has been set in place.


  1. mike welch says:

    I can’t find your updated photos of the new pool construction.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Mike, an album of the most updated (38) photos of the pool were posted on our Facebook page Friday, July 7 at about 1:45 p.m. You can view that post here. By the end of today, our intent is to post a lot of recent photos on for folks who don’t Facebook, so watch for that.

  2. Thanks for the clarification, it’s good to know. My comment was to address the “if you don’t like it leave comment” used so often. I’m tired of hearing that response. So many people live in this community with varied financial means, and all should be considered when increasing fees. Sure a $10.00 increase doesn’t sound like a lot for a year, but continuing increases over the years does add up especially for those on a fixed income.

  3. We love everything SCW is doing for our community. I know we all have our own opinions; but regarding grandchildren….we have them and the great-grandchildren. Most of the people moved to this community to not be around the younger generation. Therefore although there should be times to entertain these youngsters in the pool, etc., we all need to realize this is a retirement community, not a public park. There are equal and better amenities right here in Surprise to accommodate grandparents and their grandkids if they want to have all those extras for them.

  4. Tom McLean says:

    All pictures shown should be dated.

  5. Daniel and Theresa says:

    Great job!! Our amenities here are a wonderful blessing:)

  6. Louis Monaco says:

    I read all of the dialogue regarding the diving board. My question is did the removal of the diving board also change the depth of the pool in the area originally designated for diving?

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Louis, when the diving board was planned, the depth of that area was required to be 9+ feet. Now that there is no diving board, that space will be the same as the other lanes, or 8′ at that point. All lanes are 8′ – 4 1/2′ – 6 1/2′, except for the last two lanes closest to the Sports Pavilion, which are 8′ – 6 1/2′.

  7. Don Pickford says:

    Great job. Keep it up.

  8. Barbara Holland says:

    I only have grandchildren here once or twice a year. A daily highlight of the pool for them, as young teens and ‘tweens, is the friendly competition on the diving board. Beardsley is dark and dank in comparison and the grandkids don’t enjoy that experience nearly as much. I wish management and the board would rely on questionnaire responses as a way of polling the community as to what it would like, especially for major expenditures such as the pool and the tennis courts. Seems you rely on management preference to decide what drives your goals, all while complaining about ‘rumors’ of other parties. I resent the statements that ‘most’ residents want something when it is very clear that ‘most’ residents have not been polled. That said, what’s done is done. I am looking forward to using the new pool, and really hope you use prudence when deciding whether to upgrade tennis courts that are very rarely used in the second phase of the tennis project.

    • RCSCW PR says:

      Thank you for your comments Ms. Holland. We did have the diving board in the original design. After consulting with the community through various forums and a resident/board/staff committee over the course of many months, however, the consensus was that the diving board was not wanted by the majority. It was not a staff decision. We know many like yourselves did like it, but many others did not like it and found the splashing by children disruptive. Children will still be welcome during certain hours, and there will be a feature at the zero-entry that will appeal to the youngsters.

  9. Dale Manelski says:

    Why wasn’t the pool project contracted to a pool construction company like Presidential or Paddock?

    • RCSCW PR says:

      Hi Dale. This is much more than a pool project. It includes a large landscaping component, reconstruction of the indoor monitors/check-in area, a new outdoor great lawn and stage, step-down access from Member Services/Ceramics/Model Railroad. One of the subcontractors specializes in pools, but the general contractor needed more broad expertise.

    • Multimedia says:

      FYI Dale, we wanted to get back to you …the pool portion of the project is being undertaken by Shasta Pools.

  10. It would be nice if the latest pool construction photos were included at this site. Not everybody uses social media (Facebook, Tweeter, etc).

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Jim, I will be taking more photos of the construction tomorrow, as the deck is being poured, and will make a special point of creating a web story with progress photos for those who don’t access Social Media. Stay tuned.

  11. Edward Anderson says:

    Can you clarify what the estimated completion date is for the pool at RHJ? A friend recently told me that they heard the date was pushed out to October. The last I heard was the completion date was on schedule for the end of August.

    • Multimedia says:

      You are correct Edward, we are on time for August at this point! Please help by passing along the correct information to your friends. Thank you.

  12. Doug McLennan says:

    My wife and I are both avid lane fitness swimmers. We like to do at least a half hour swim two or three times per week. A couple of the challenges we have at the moment at many of the SCW pools are the relatively high water temperatures kept at the pools. Recommended water temperatures for fitness swimming is 78 to 84 degrees. I certainly understand our facilities need to accommodate a wide variety of interests but we, and many other fitness swimmer are hopeful that the water temperature can be a bit cooler. Also we are hopeful that the potential conflicts between walkers and swimmers can be avoided. All in all the new pool looks just fabulous and will be a wonderful addition to SCW,s already top notch recreation facilities.

  13. I agree with Robert Cortese and others about the entertainment value of the springboard. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the community made all that negative noise. I suspect a community-wide ballot vote would have shown us differently. Those of us who liked the design pretty much as it was (except perhaps the trees) saw no need to attend the forums. Especially since we were unaware that any components of the pool were in jeopardy of removal. As usual, the squeaky wheels…

  14. Joan Burns says:

    I agree that indoor diving board is not the same. Our grandchildren loved the Outdoor diving board. I was told the diving board was going to be put in. Can it be put in now? Joan Burns

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Joan, We are too far along with construction to reconsider the existence of a diving board at the R.H. Johnson pool. We understand that there is disappointment from some folks in the community about the removal of the diving board. We found there to be more in favor of not having a diving board based on collective comments from the citizenry.

  15. Jim obrock says:

    Always complaining. Just enjoy the pool. Realize your life is rounding 3rd and heading for home. HAVE FUN,

  16. My grand kids loved the OUTDOOR diving board at RH Johnson pool. Even marveled that Grandma would join in the fun. Indoors not the same.

  17. Harry Thompson says:

    If there are no trees, there will be no bird droppings, leaves, branches, and so much debris in the pool and therefore less maintenance on a daily basis. For shade, put fixed umbrellas, lanais, and pergolas around the pool.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Harry, there will still be some trees, but other shade structures have been in the plan from the start. The only “shade” modification if you will, was to reduce the number of trees. Thanks for writing.

  18. Dennis & Connie says:

    Excellent! Great to see the pool project on time and in budget. As we are newer city members, 6 years, we remember how much the impressive cleanliness and the updated facilities weighed in our decision to buy and live in SCW.
    My opinion? Good decisions on the diving board and the trees. Areas of shade can be supplied for much less money and maintenance then the trees.

  19. Robert Cortese says:

    Negative feedback about the diving board is to be expected. These are the same people who express displeasure at the presence of grandchildren. playing at the pool during their designated times.So sad that these individuals cannot appreciate the few hours of joy the grandkids and grandparents share together. For the past 20 years I have noticed that many residents at the pool marvel and are entertained by the continuous line of kids at the diving board performing all levels of expertise off the diving board. During these same twenty years I have heard these same people who complain about kids at the pool also complain about the water being too cold or too warm,or the music too loud or too radical or being splashed with water.The diving board was a valuable source of joy to many residents and visitors alike

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Robert. It’s true that the diving board at RHJ will be missed by some who loved to bring their grandchildren and by some who loved to watch the kids use the diving board. Fortunately we still have one at Beardsley. Those that enjoy it will still be able to do so. The new pool will offer a small splash pad area in the zero entry for the kids to enjoy, there will also be diving platforms for swimmers to practice their racing starts, and a deep end for all to enjoy. Thanks for writing.

  20. Walt Schmick says:

    Does the latest version still have a diving board?

    • Multimedia says:

      No it does not Walt, feedback on the diving board at the community forums was negative, so we listened and it was removed from the plans.

  21. Rich Hert says:

    Wonder how many of the sun lovers will be there in July & Aug. Need shade for the rest of us….

  22. I just looked at the pool lay out. It looks great BUT I have concerns about all the trees. I like to lay in the sun when I am at the pool. When I see all these trees all I can think about is all the birds dropping on me and all over the place looking for food. I hope that there are places without shade where all of us sun lovers can get our rays. Plus with the winds we have here the clean up from all the tree droppings will be a very large undertaking. Please cut down on the trees..I love sun and don’t look forward to fighting off birds.

    • Multimedia says:

      Hello Joann, thanks for your feedback. The fly-through rendering of the pool project was created back in 2015. Once we held pool forums in 2015 and 2016 to get feedback from Members, who voiced the same concerns, the number of trees in the plan was cut way back. Again, thanks for voicing your opinion.

  23. Craig Brady says:

    My wife and I are on our second home here. Had a pool at the first one, and building a pool at the second one. Still love the design and future of the new aquatic center at RH Johnson. Beautiful design.

  24. Larry & Gerry says:

    My husband and I would like to thank all of you for making and keeping Sun City West a place to be proud of as well as having so many wonderful options of ways to enjoy so much, so very close to home. We realize there will always be those who complain and think these monies shouldn’t be spent; but they have the choice of moving to another community that doesn’t care about making improvements and doing the extras to make it a wonderful place to call home. Keep up the good work!

    • Maria Winfrey says:

      Like so many other’s responses, the if you don’t like it leave statement comes up. Although I am in favor of the pool remodel, everyone is entitled to their opinion on how their money is spent. These types of projects are costly and drive up the fees. Those on fixed incomes may find the increases a financial burden. They too have the right to say to you if you don’t like it leave. That’s why they make chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. IMO

      • Multimedia says:

        Good morning Maria, we agree you are entitled to your feelings and opinions about different projects and how the Association spends money. Just a small clarification. Projects like the pool are capital improvements and do not affect your fees. Capital improvements are paid for with funds generated by Asset Preservation Fees (APFs), which are paid for by new home buyers when they purchase a home here.

  25. I think a good idea would be to have a lottery for the first person to enter the pool, the money could go to a good cause. Set up a box in the office, sell tickets for $5, three months might raise a lot of money.

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