Rapier: Most onboard for a community recreation center

Thatcher Town Councilman Ryan Rapier informs his fell council members that Graham County, the Town of Pima and Eastern Arizona College have expressed interest in developing a community recreation center. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

THATCHER — It appears there is enough interest in a community recreation center to take the concept to the next level.

“Graham County, the Town of Pima, Eastern Arizona College and the Town of Thatcher have agreed to, at least, continue talking, and looking at the feasibility and how that might work,” said Thatcher Town Councilman Ryan Rapier.

He added that all the entities have shown interest in not just helping construct a facility, but to participate in its ongoing operation and maintenance.

The next step is to conduct a feasibility study.

“A study of usage — what would work and what wouldn’t work and those kinds of things — give us an idea of how much we’re looking at to get it built and how much we’re looking at to get it operating and be maintained on an annual basis. And then looking at each other around the table and saying, ‘OK, can we do this? What do we need, what can we do and what can’t we do?’ “ Rapier said,

The next step will also include commissioning of a conceptual design, as well as come to an agreement on a location. Estimated cost will come out of the feasibility study.

A community recreation center could be used to host indoor sports tournaments, such as basketball, wrestling and volleyball, as well as provide a permanent home for club teams as well as youth and recreational athletic leagues.

When asked during Monday’s Thatcher Town Council meeting whether Safford would be participating, Rapier told the council that Safford officials “indicted they did not want to be a part of this at this time.”