Clubhouse update

Julie Anderson, Planning Committee Member

If you were to compare a picture of yourself today with one taken 25 years ago, what would you notice? A few more wrinkles (laugh lines), maybe an outdated hair style, and what about that outfit you had on? We might get the same sense of “Hey, it’s time for an update” when we compare pictures of our SunBird clubhouse from 25 years ago with today. Fortunately, our HOA board has budgeted money for refreshing paint and carpeting on a regular schedule. This year, the board also voted to consult with a professional interior designer to develop a master plan for updating our clubhouse.

A committee has been formed, consisting of SunBird General Manager Layne Varney, HOA Board Member Linda DiPalma and Planning Committee Member Julie Anderson. The committee’s first order of business was to interview and hire a consultant, and they selected Melissa Bull of Interior Architecture & Planning, LLC. She has measured and photographed every nook and cranny of our clubhouse, pointing out features and architectural wonders hidden by years of accumulated clutter and outdated paint colors. She has recommended that we embrace a “timeless” Southwestern design for our clubhouse, not the Southwest colors of twenty years ago (think pastels and mystical horses) but rather a bold, iconic palette of strong Southwest Indian colors and design.

Melissa has provided us with a detailed plan of updates and upgrades. Like any remodeling project, we had to scale back or eliminate certain items to fit our budget, but the end result is a clubhouse refresh that is exciting and affordable. We will complete the work over a period of several years, and we want to bring you up to date with what will be happening this summer, in phase one.

Our reserve fund savings account has money allocated to paint and replace most carpeting on the main and upper levels of the clubhouse. Melissa has designed an iconic carpet that will remind you of the Biltmore or El Tovar. The carpet will be our “wow factor,” and you will notice it when you walk in the door. It will be framed with commercial-grade laminate flooring that looks like wood. We will purchase new furniture for the living room, and we will refinish existing light fixtures in the Billiards Room.

Upstairs in the Horizon Room, we will replace all the carpet and existing tile with the same commercial-grade laminate flooring. New acoustical ceiling tiles and light fixtures will be installed. We will also paint and refresh the bar area.

The upstairs hall will receive the same “wow factor” carpet and laminate wood-look flooring as the main hallway floor. Melissa has a vision for commissioning large art pieces from our very own SunBird artisans, and we are very excited to collaborate with our resident artists.

We won’t be remodeling the bathrooms this year. That is budgeted for 2020. Likewise, we won’t be doing much in the ballroom, as that is scheduled for new flooring at a later date. But we do have a master plan, and when money becomes available, we will be able to refer to Melissa’s plans and complete the vision that she has laid out for us.

Our biggest challenge will be getting ready for all the new flooring to be installed. We will need to remove furniture, close off rooms and hire professionals to move and temporarily store the pool tables. We also will need to box up and move books from the library (a perfect time for us to do some house cleaning). Finally, we will need to close or rethink the Horizon Room operations for temporary service (maybe serve out of the kitchen to the upstairs patio and Apache and Pima Rooms). All in all, it will be a huge undertaking, and most of this is scheduled to take place in August. Our goal is to have an updated, remodeled clubhouse ready to greet you in September/October.

If you are a year-round resident, please be patient as we navigate through the remodel process. If you are a seasonal resident, enjoy your summer and look forward to meeting your new clubhouse on your return! We think you will love the updated, refreshed look!