The Metal Club was one of the new clubs formed when the Kuentz Recreation Center was built in 1989. The Club was started with a letter to Maurice Griffin, the first President, offering space of 3200 square feet in the new Kuentz Center. Del Webb offered $50,000 to purchase the initial equipment. The membership was made up of engineers, tool and die makers, machinists, sheet metal mechanics, welders, inventors and dreamers. The 1991 membership was near 135. The Metal Club was opened in February of 1989. The new shiny machines lined up in rows, but lacked the accessories to make them usable. A loan was secured from the Recreation Center to obtain these items.
The Club has developed into a service Club, repairing items for residents of Sun City West, as well as making items for other clubs, organizations and local areas in need. The members completed many projects to repay the loan, including folding chair racks for Churches, Lending Hands and PORA. Golf bag racks for our golf courses were made along with many individual fix-it items for residents.
In 1990, it became apparent that many residents needed a secure mail box to hold their mail while they were gone. So, the mail box extension was introduced. Several hundred of the extensions are produced and sold each year. Other products include water shutoff valve wrenches, bike racks and flag mounting brackets. All proceeds from projects are used to buy tools and equipment for the Club which becomes the property of the Recreation Centers.
By 1993 the Club had more than 250 members and drew up a plan for a $150,000 addition to the building. But there was not room for the expansion. The problem was solved when it was discovered that the Kuentz roof was collapsing. While the building was being repaired construction began on a new 4,000 square foot building on Camino del Sol donated by DEVCO. Members donated $15,000 to increase the building to 4,300 square feet.
The Metal Club moved into the new building in 1995 where it operates today. Equipment includes: lathes, milling machines, saws and grinding, welding, sheet metal, plasma cam and many others. The Club has grown to over 800 members and remains very popular. This information was provided by Tom O′Lear who was one of the charter members and instrumental in forming the Club.