Indoor pools, rock climbing, juice bar and more options presented at Recreation Complex open house

Thatcher Mayor Randy Bryce looks at the options presented by the Architekton architectural firm for a Gila Valley recreational complex during an open house at EAC on Monday. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

THATCHER — Residents from across the Gila Valley gave their input on what they’d like to see inside and outside of a recreation complex, should one be built.

Thatcher, Pima, Graham County and Eastern Arizona College officials have agreed to investigate the possibility of development of a regional multi-use recreational complex, and Thatcher and EAC hosted an open house Monday, showing the options available to the community.

Residents were asked to give their three top priorities for amenities inside, what type of pool should be in the complex, and the look and amenities for the exterior of the building.

Architekton architectural firm will use the public’s input to craft a proposed complex.

“This is all about getting the community to come out together and help us get the conversation started about what the community’s interested in the new facility,” said John Kane, principal with Architekton. “These can take a lot of forms and we want to make sure we’re designing a facility that is appropriate for this community and make sure we’re meeting all their desires.”

Gila Valley residents were asked to indicate their top three choices for amenities both inside a proposed recreation complex and for the building’s exterior. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

Heather Van Houten spoke with a number of representatives of Architekton about what a recreation facility could offer, including the Valley’s need for an indoor pool.

“It’s great to have outdoor pools; however, when do have lightening , they shut down all of the pools. And so we’re stuck with, what? If we have that option to have an indoor pool, then we would still be able to have that swimming time for our children and there are those that like to do the lap swimming,” she said.

Kane said he expects his firm will need a few weeks to analyze the data gathered Monday to form a presentation to the area partners.

“We’ll compile it to basically take it to (Town) Council and continue the conversation to figure out what the next steps should be,” Kane said.

At the same time, Architekton is conducting a feasibility study, so both development and operational cost estimates can be included in the presentation.

Those who missed Monday’s open house can still offer input by completing the community survey at Thatcher — Architekton.