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RHJ Tennis Court Forum slated for April


There will be an RHJ Tennis Court Renovation Public Forum to be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, in the RHJ Social Hall. Jay Hicks, Landscape Architect from Dig Studio will show conceptual drawings on the renovation of the present courts. It will be an opportunity for SCW residents to hear about the need for the renovation, the type of surface recommended, and the steps to moving the project forward. Please join us for this discussion.

  1. Dale Manelski says:

    Why do we already have a landscape architect for the tennis courts when nothing has been approved for this unnecessary project?

  2. Multimedia says:

    Good morning Dale. It is the fiduciary responsibility of the Association to maintain sustainable facilities for members – that includes the tennis facility at R.H. Johnson. It’s difficult to understand how the conditions of the courts impact play if you are not a tennis player. Although they may look good, they play poorly and are substandard. In order to begin discussions towards renovating the facility, the services of a landscape architect are required.

  3. Frank Bagnato says:

    Play poorly? That’s odd, given that the club itself touts the SCW facility as one of the best in the area in the paragraph they feature about the club in the Rec Center News. So who’s pulling who’s leg? We’re not stupid, you know.

  4. Richard Van Tuyle says:

    I also play tennis, these courts are fine for the level of players in Sun City West. We have no true 4.0 players. The area good players go to Surprize to play with younger players. L

  5. RCSCW PR says:

    Mr. Bagnato and Mr. Van Tuyle, we have some of the best amenities in the nation, and we are responsible for keeping them that way through regular, ongoing maintenance.

  6. Suzanne says:

    So first the Pickleball courts were a problem for the Tennis club-although their courts are almost always EMPTY!
    Part of the argument the club gave, was that the sound of pickleball hitting the paddle “disturbed” the tennis players. So, pickleball agrees to move away from those Wimbledon ranked players (that’s the only place I note that sound is strictly controlled)although there was nothing wrong with the courts we played on. Boom- more room for more Tennis matches….except no one shows up to play! The Pickleball Club itself, has agreed to pay for a new set of courts which will have a Grand Opening this week. And now the Tennis courts are going to get more capitol infusion? I think this is ridiculous, and a waste of rec center dollars.I humbly object to this expenditure. Count the number of people that use those courts daily- don’t add in Table Tennis, or Whisper Ball, or Racquetball numbers. You will see that any additional monies spent on Tennis, which has few members using the courts and many empty courts at all hours is a sinking ship. Don’t waste our money- Please.

  7. Margaret Gibb says:

    Maintenance of all facilities is necessary, upgrade & ” enhancement”, as it’s now being called, may not be warranted to this exorbitant amount. Has due diligence been done to evaluate the need , not the” want”.
    Let’s see usage numbers, monies spent in the past, outside evaluation from someone, not a Scw tennis player, not the contractor getting the job!
    Projected Numbers printed
    $961,477 – 2017-18
    $802,285 -2018-19
    $282,400 central plaza & landscaping.!!!
    A precident has been set- Clubs must contribute to all “upgrades” !
    Just ask: ARC, pickleball, Zymurgy-, photography, Railroad club, clay, boomers, women’s club! Fair is fair,the Rec. Ctr. set the precident .
    How much is the Tennis Club contributing the their exclusive area ” upgrade”? Preferencial treatment for one club is not acceptable in our shared community .

  8. Frank Bagnato says:

    Maintain? A two plus million dollar complete rebuild is hardly maintenance. Who are you kidding?

  9. Lynn Klein says:

    Maintenance is a far cry from a 2 million dollar gut job! If it were your money you would probably be a little more cautious on your spending techniques

  10. Donna Reed says:

    Maintaining the tennis courts should be the responsibility of the community, but improvements should be the responsibility of the club like other sports i.e. Pickleball and Softball. This is grossly unfair to the other sports clubs that raise their own funds for improvements.

  11. Jim Eagar says:

    Spouting generalities about a duty to maintain facilities does not automatically justify any alleged “maintenance” project proposed. Rather, there must be objective evidence of a need and the extent of that need to justify any specific project, and the expenditure of millions of dollars of owner’s funds.

  12. RCSCW PR says:

    Mr. Eager, Ms. Reed, Ms. Klein, Mr. Bagnato, Ms. Gibb and Suzanne – Thank you for your comments. Obviously the tennis court issue is of concern to many of you. The forum is designed to share information and listen to your concerns. This website is not designed for in-depth back and forth discussions. We hope to see you and hear your ideas at the forum – 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, in the Social Hall.

  13. Richard Van Tuyle says:

    I think this might have struck a nerve.

  14. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Mr. Van Tuyle. Not sure what you mean about striking a nerve. We recognize the tennis issue is one of concern to some of our residents. We have a forum slated to discuss those issues. That means the concerns have been heard, and we are taking them seriously. This was discussed extensively in Properties today as well.

  15. Mike Kalcow says:

    What makes the Tennis Club so special? It should carry it’s own financial burdens as the other clubs do.

  16. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Mike. The Rec Centers pays to maintain existing amenities. That’s why we exist as an Association. When clubs wish to build new amenities, we ask that they contribute to or cover the cost. Whether we are re-carpeting and repainting the Library or the Beardsley card rooms, resurfacing swimming pools or overseeding golf courses, that is part of what we do for the clubs and the residents. Depending on what kind of amenities and activities you enjoy, you will benefit more from some projects than from others. Additionally, some projects are bigger than others. The longer we wait in between major renovations, the more expensive the upgrades tend to be. The R.H. Johnson Pool project, for example, is a multi-million dollar upgrade that will benefit multiple clubs and residents. The tennis courts have had some repairs over the years, but now it is time for a more long-term solution. In the end, not just the Tennis Club but all residents will benefit. This is similar to our golf course projects – whether you are a golf club member, a walk-on player or a non-golfer, you benefit to varying degrees by our golf courses being in good shape. All homeowners benefit from the regular upkeep of our amenities, which keeps up home values whether you use those amenities or not.

  17. Frank Bagnato says:

    Oh please, don’t even think about comparing this monstrous and unwarranted upgrade to the maintenance and improvements made on the golf courses–unless you are going to start charging tennis players a court fee every time they play. You know, like a greens fee? Who are you kidding?

    Seven golf courses, on a busy day, there’s twelve to fourteen HUNDRED people playing golf, paying greens fees. PER DAY. Tennis doesn’t have those numbers in a MONTH.

    Nor is this a swimming pool, benefiting hundreds and hundreds of residents. You’re talking tennis, with at best a couple hundred active players, regardless of how many club “members” there may be.

    Geez, you really do think we’re stupid, don’cha?

  18. Sherry Sundland says:

    I think the cost is exorbitant for something that is hardly used. The $ would be better spent putting in covered parking w/solar so it would help save money in the long run.

  19. RCSCW PR says:

    Ms. Sutherland, thank you for your comment. We have looked at solar and have employed it in a couple different areas. However, it is not as cost-savings as it once was when the rebates were much more generous. As for tennis, we will go over the costs and usage statistics at our forum. Thank you.

  20. RCSCW PR says:

    Mr. Bagnato, we have given you ample space and time on our social media to ask questions, but your comments have increasingly turned into disparaging remarks aimed at inciting rather than contributing to conversation. We have invited you countless times to come in, call us, and email us to get your questions answered. You have not availed yourself of these opportunities. We scheduled a meeting with several of our top managers to meet with members of your group. They canceled that meeting. It seems you are not interested in getting answers, but rather in making angry and sarcastic retorts. We have been told you have your own closed Facebook group that you use for this same purpose. That is a much better medium for such remarks. This is a marketing page for Sun City West, and as such, we will no longer be publishing your comments.

  21. Linda Robinette says:

    Perhaps this improvement is not needed, as I seldom see the courts being used when I visit the dog park twice a day. My tennis player friends tell me there is nothing wrong with the courts and no improvement is needed. This whole thing sound like the mis-management
    of the design of the RH Johnson pool. Why is the Rec Center and manager
    pushing these supposed improvements at this time of economic uncertainty?

  22. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Ms. Robinette. Thank you for your questions. Several years ago when Pickleball and Tennis were having issues at their mixed-use sites at Palm Ridge and R.H. Johnson, discussions began about the possibility of separating the two sports and creating their own exclusive sites. At that time, it was recognized the R.H. Johnson facility would need to be brought up to standard. So this need for improvement is not new. It has been recognized for several years. The clubs have since been separated, Pickleball has new courts at two sites, and Tennis is asking that its courts be brought up to standard. The club has nearly 550 members – it is our 7th largest club! – and usage has increased. We have usage statistics and information about the growth of tennis in the Northwest Valley and metro area that will be shared at the forum. This is not a done deal, and we appreciate your comments and feedback. All of this will be considered before a decision is made. This is all part of the decision-making process. We have copious background we can share on the pool project as well – we respectfully disagree that the project is mismanaged. There are a lot of rumors out there about these two capital projects, and the best way to get to the bottom of rumors is to come in and speak to us personally, or call us and we can answer your questions in depth and give you all the background you wish. As for economic uncertainty – we’re not sure what you mean on that, but this Association is very well run, has no debt, has $22 million in reserves for projects like this and is moving forward exactly as planned – maintaining and upgrading our many facilities at the Del Webb standard. For more information, please feel free to call our CFO Tony Struck at 623-544-6023.

  23. Terry Hartzfeld says:

    So is this forum going to be like it was for the RHJohnson pool where we were showed the plans for the new pool! No discussion or questions, just here it is! So do we believe that this is going to be any different, how many bids were sought for this tennis courts redo, how many different contractors submitted bids! Really 2 MILLON + and no payout from the tennis club.

  24. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Terry. This project, like all our major capital projects, follows a specific process. The Governing Board will discuss it at its Workshop on Friday (9 a.m. in the Lecture Hall). That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. It simply gives the Board a chance to discuss the project. The public forum gives the public a chance to hear about it and discuss it. Thus far, the project entails only conceptual drawings. The Board would still have to approve the project at its April Regular meeting. If that happens, we would pursue three bids and go from there. Right now, there is no approved project to pursue bids.

  25. Mike Kosanda says:

    I believe that the renovations that have been done so far in R. H. Johnson have greatly improved the look of the area in addition to fixing maintenance issues. We have to keep doing this work as our facilities are getting older and need work after forty years.
    I hope that the Rec Center Management keep up the good work and make all of our facilities first class

  26. Karen Kirkman says:

    Thank you to RCSCW PR for your patience and professionalism in addressing all of these comments.

    As a very frequent tennis player, I personally believe that improvements are most definitely needed at the RHJ courts. The court conversion project, which IS being funded by the SCW Tennis Club, is just the first step to making our facility better, and I AM very excited about this project. I am also very enthusiastic about the possibility of the Board approving the future proposed projects for the facility.

    It is my hope that residents will attend the forum and get the true facts. They will hopefully realize that making the much needed upgrades to the facility will be a positive for everyone who resides in Sun City West, whether they are an active tennis player or not. Not everyone who lives here uses all of our great amenities, but it sure is impressive to outsiders to see all that we have to offer. Maintenance and improvements are required if we want to remain a community where folks want to live.

    Thank you, again, for clarifying the situation on this page for everyone.

  27. Susan Polizzi says:

    Since I, like many others will not be able to attend this Tennis Forum can you put on line NOW the sketches you have available for this project? As you know many snow birds leave about this time. I believe this is the only and first forum for this multi-million dollar project?

  28. Multimedia says:

    Hello Susan, we will check into posting the sketches after the forum. Thanks for writing.

  29. Karen referred to the court conversion project that the SCW Tennis club is funding. For clarification purposes, am I correct that they are referring to paying for a portion of tearing up the pickleball courts and converting them to one tennis court? That was as a result of the Club not wanting to “HEAR” pickleball players in their space, if I am not mistaken. This “contribution” is not money towards the renovation.($2.5 million). Is there any other club that has received an all new design and new social area and new lighting without contributing? Interesting!

  30. Janet Simcic says:

    As an avid tennis player at the RHJ courts, I am elated to see the plan for renovation of the tennis courts. The need for renovation of these courts are obvious to us who play on these courts. The Recreation Center management has done a great job of maintaining and updating our beautiful community facilities at Sun City West. That is why we are rated as one of the most desirable retirement communities. Let’s keep it that way!

  31. Geoff Hill says:

    Not yet pursued bids?? Where did the $2000000 number come from?? This is a joke. I think it is time to freeze Dues till the slush fund is gone and for board to act responsibly.

  32. Mary pehl says:

    I have lived in SCW for five years the only amenities I have used is an occasional miniature golf game. I bought here because I like to see all amenities kept in top notch shape whether I use them or not that is what keeps our home values up and our community number one. Perhaps some folks should think about what is going on in their own yard I notice weeds everywhere when I walk and cars not parked in the garage. Thanks to the board for all they do

  33. Collin Gaetz says:

    I have read all the comments submitted in April regarding the RHJ Tennis Courts proposed project. I believe this discussion and the voicing of objections or support for the project is healthy for our community and helps to ensure these decisions are carefully and objectively considered before financial commitments are made. I have read the SCW Rec. Association by-laws regarding the Asset Preservation Fund. By-law states: “Asset Preservation fees: The Governing Board may establish a fee to be paid by the purchasers of Residential Units to offset capital expenditures for major maintenance, repair, replacement, remodeling and costs of new construction of Association facilities.” I believe the tennis court project being discussed clearly falls within this definition of the purpose of the Asset Preservation Fund. A full, open, and respectful discussion will assist our Governing Board to objectively consider projects like this, and to represent all our Association members and SCW residents and to preserve the outstanding amenities we all enjoy here in one of the best adult communities in the USA. I strongly support the tennis court project being discussed.

  34. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Margo. Years ago at RH Johnson, there was a mixture of tennis and platform tennis courts before pickleball was introduced to the community. Some courts were temporarily and then permanently converted to pickleball as the sport grew. It wasn’t long before it became clear the sports were not compatible in the same space. The two clubs have met with management over the years to work out a viable solution. Ultimately, the tennis courts at Palm Ridge were converted to pickleball, and new ones were added at the club’s expense. More recently, the Tennis Club paid to convert the pickleball courts at RHJ into a single tennis court; while the Pickleball Club paid to build their new courts at RHJ. We applaud both clubs for their efforts and contributions to the community. If the proposed tennis renovation at RHJ goes forward, the Association would pay for the concrete overlay – since it is designed to repair/replace the faulty asphalt that is failing underneath the ProBounce. The club could potentially pay for part of the social area, since this would be an enhancement; that has yet to be decided since we are still in the design stage.

    As for whether other clubs have received new designs and social areas without contributing – the Village Store was upgraded without contributions from the consigning clubs (aside from their usual contribution which covers operational costs); almost all of the pro shop club houses have been upgraded without specific contributions from the individual golf clubs (aside from greens fees, which pays for operations and golf course upkeep); the library has been upgraded and is due for another facelift this summer without specific contribution toward such capital projects from the Friends of the Library (although they generously pay for all materials at the library); the Sports Pavilion has received new lockers and carpet without contribution from the Bowling Association (aside from lineage fees, which covers operations costs); several upgrades, new seating and pieces of media equipment have been purchased for the Stardust Theatre aside from what the clubs that use that facility also have purchased; the R.H. Johnson Pool is being renovated, without specific funding from the exercise clubs that use that facility; card rooms have been repainted and recarpeted, with new cupboards added as well, without charging the individual card clubs; the Social Hall kitchen was upgraded without contribution from the clubs that use that space…

    The list goes on and on. Our point: We have big clubs and small clubs. We have high-dollar clubs and low-budget clubs. We have something for everyone, and we maintain all of our amenities to preserve the community at the standard at which you bought here. None of our clubs nor amenities pay their own way. Golf does not. Add in its capital costs and it’s an even wider gap. Bowling comes close without capital costs added in. Even the smallest card club with very little expenses is subsidized.

    We have a space utilization process should a club or activity ever outlive its time and its space requirements. We use it when we need to. But we will not force out a club or activity just because we don’t want to pay the piper. We are Sun City West. We have the best amenities and the best community for active adults in the nation. We will keep it that way.

  35. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Geoff. When we first put a project on our five-year plan, we estimate the cost and put in placeholder funds. This is a best-guess estimate as we haven’t expended any funds yet to get a more accurate cost. A year or two or three down the line as we get closer to the project, we put in design funds, and when the time comes to spend those, we hire an architect, or in this case a landscape architect to provide us with conceptual drawings and more refined estimates. That is where we are at now – the rough, early cost estimates are $1.8 million for the post-tension concrete overlay, and $380,000 for landscaping. Only a portion of the landscaping dollars would go toward the “social” area for the Tennis Club. The remainder is landscaping near and around the tennis courts. We need conceptual drawings so we have a plan to consider, and to show the Board and the community. This is what we use to get feedback on, bring back to the architect and refine the drawings. Once we have final drawings, we send those out for bid. We are not at that stage yet because we have not had the public forum to receive input.

  36. margaret gibb says:

    To RCSCW-PR answering Margo comment:

    You mention UPGRADES to the pools, village store, library, golf. These are all amenities open to everyone in the community and outside,with golf. We know our dues, and, AZ Preservation Fee,reserve funds go for water,electric, general operation needs.

    You stated: “None of our clubs nor amenities pay their own way.”

    I’m going to ask:
    Is it not true : ??
    1. ARC- auto restoration is paying for all for their facility and now upgrades ( 1 million, and approx $500,000 pd. Back already??)
    2. Pickleball- now paying all for 8 RHJ courts approx ($350,000) due to being forced out of the now ” Tennis Club area”??
    3. Women’s Club- got a loanto pay for their refrigerator?
    4. Zymurgy- loan of approx. $50,000 to pay back for upgrade, expansion of room.
    5. Past Club Participation: Art Club, Clay Club,Boomers Club,Photography, Softball, Theater upgrades with 4-5 club in there contributing to upgrades, and many, many more.
    6. Refusal of upgrade to Stainglass Club, Refusal of a mire approximate $10,000 for the railroad club for storage.

    So do you see why the citizens of this ” fine” community are concerned, bewildered about a proposed approximate $2,146,000 for a declining Tennis Club. ( average 50 players a day, on a good day) (figures from Cindy Knoltons satement in the Independent)

    And NO contribution from Tennis Club of approximately 500 members.

    The Board set the president “all clubs must invest in new, upgrade,and repair” of their areas about 4-5 years ago.

    People are attracted to SCW for economical living, golf, and the MULTIPLE amenities which include over 100 clubs, NOT tennis alone.

    The question I have for you, our PR person:
    1. Why are all other clubs the “stepchildren” of SCW, being penalized in paying all or some of their upgrades and improvements?
    2. Why is Tennis Club getting preferential treatment when the sport is declining in SCW ( again only 50 players on a good day)??
    (Should some Board member recuse themselves from this issue?)
    3. Houses are selling quickly in SCW, rentals are hard to find, why is staff pushing to be #1, could we settle for top 10 and be more fiscally responsible ?

    Please don’t give us PR spin, please help us by considering these concerns for the sake of all citizens and other Club members.

    Thank you

  37. RCSCW PR says:

    Hi Margaret. The short answer is, yes, most of what you say about the individual clubs funding certain upgrades/improvements is accurate. (The tennis-pickleball history goes back much further. Tennis gave up all its courts at Palm Ridge and pickleball replaced them at that location and built new ones; pickleball is giving up six courts at RH Johnson and paid to build the eight new ones nearby.) We acknowledge and appreciate the contributions. In fact you can find the entire report of club funded capital projects in the February Financials: We WANT our residents to have AS MUCH INFORMATION as possible. It sounds like you have done a lot of research, and we appreciate that. Our clubs are the heart of Sun City West and we appreciate all they do to keep themselves looking good and operating smoothly. Where we may part ways is on our philosophy of the Association’s duty to maintain the amenities we have. We would no more ask a card club to recarpet their room than we would ask a golf club to pay for overseeding. The room and the golf course – and the tennis courts – belong to the Association and we have to keep them in shape. One or more clubs use each of those amenities, but they are open to the entire community outside of club usage hours. And the amenities contribute to the community’s lifestyle and longevity. We are not pushing to be No. 1, nor do we want to settle for something less than what our residents expect.

    Some other things to keep in mind: Our dues are low compared to others with far fewer amenities. About 40 percent of our residents are singles, meaning we get half the income from their dues than communities that charge higher fees levied per-household. We are more than 38 years old – so we can expect to be spending a lot on capital in the coming years as our facilities age out and need replacing. And lastly – the majority of residents moved here for the amenities and quality of life, not for the low dues; it is our duty to maintain that lifestyle.

    We firmly believe we are managing this Association in the best interest of the majority of our residents. We just had an election where new Directors were elected to our nine member, volunteer Governing Board. They represent the members, and they act in their best interests. They hold many, many public meetings every month, and residents are invited to come share their ideas. Or email them. Or call them. Input is always welcome. And of course on major capital projects like this, we have forums. We hope to see you Tuesday.

  38. Walt Maas says:


    At the end of your post above, you invite us to e-mail the Governing Board. Where do I find their address??

  39. Multimedia says:

    Hello Walt, you can email the entire Governing Board at You can find their phone numbers on BoardDocs under the “Library” tab, or call Governing Board Manager Sharon Schomer at 623-544-6115.

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