August 17, 2005 - The oldest golf facility in the Oro Valley area will get a major facelift this year with the construction of a new clubhouse at the Oro Valley Country Club.
The country club is at the northwest corner of Greenock Drive and Valle del Oro Road in the town and has been there since it opened its doors in 1959.
Members and neighbors of the country club, as well as civic leaders, broke ground on the new 26,500-square-foot clubhouse Aug. 15.
Board member George Evanoff said everyone at the club is excited about the new facility.
"It's a big project," he said. "It's going be beautiful."
The project came before the town council several times for approval, and the town had some issues with the initial proposal, but in March the club secured the yes votes needed to go ahead with the project.
Concerns from neighbors included wanting landscaping buffers and walls to mitigate noise from the new facility as well as wanting to be assured that any pool or snack bar would be located away from their homes. Some neighbors also expressed concerns about drainage issues that might result from more of the property having buildings or parking lots on it.
The country club began planning for a new clubhouse in 1999 and asked its club members to approve plans for renovation or replacement of the clubhouse six times between 1999 and 2004, but each time it failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to go ahead.
"We worked several years on it, but we finally got it passed, and it's going to be great," Evanoff said about the final plan that was approved, with conditions to provide screen walls and to build the pool and snack facility at least 35 feet away from neighbors.
"We want the neighbors to know that we are adding a beautiful asset to the community," club president Craig Grover stated in a prepared statement regarding the project. "We also assure them the construction activity will proceed as safely and cleanly as possible."
The new clubhouse should be complete by the summer of 2006. While the new buildings are under construction, the existing clubhouse will remain open and fully operational.
The new members-only facility will include several new dining areas, a fitness center, men's and women's locker rooms, card rooms, expanded practice areas and a full-service
The clubhouse is being designed by Seaver Franks Architects and engineered by the WLB group. Construction is being handled by general contractor TL Roof.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $7.2 million.
The new clubhouse will be to the east of the existing clubhouse and is designed as a campus, with three buildings that will wrap around the ninth hole of the existing golf course.
The architecture is designed to be "contemporary Southwest" with glass walls, stone accents, canopied walkways and covered outdoor areas for entertainment.
The design, including the use of much glass, will offer multiple views of the golf course and the Santa Catalinas.
The club has 331 golf members, 113 social members and 28 other members. The club estimates that about 40,000 rounds of golf are played there each year. Throughout its history, the club has played host to several prestigious golf events including qualifying rounds for the U.S. Amateur Championships, the U.S. Golf Associations Senior Amateur Championship and the Tucson Open.