recent years numerous renovations have been completed at the Ralph W.
Phillips Recreation and Civic Center, making the former National Guard
armory more comfortable for use year-round.
Greenfield Rotary Club spent an estimated $60,000 to install a new
heating and air conditioning system, replace windows and renovate the
building’s plumbing. Four new restrooms were added, and an old storage
area was converted into a new classroom.
a huge project,” said Steve Pearce, former club president and a longtime
member of the rec center board. “We called it the Money Pit.”
building is used for a variety of purposes, including dances, Christmas
parties, community events, youth basketball, church activities. It is
also the home of the Greenfield Head Start program, which uses the first
floor of the facility.
latest improvements are a continuation of gradual upgrading that has
taken place over the years. Through a grant given to Head Start, the
building became handicap accessible with the addition of a motorized
chair lift at the bottom of the stairs. The Rotary club has spent quite a
bit of money on roofing repairs and other maintenance to keep the rec
funds for the rec center come mainly from rentals. The second floor
(where the gymnasium is located) is rented by individuals and groups,
with the going rate ranging from $15 per hour to a set fee for larger
events. The price depends somewhat on the type of use (personal,
organization or commercial).
usually rents the building during basketball season for little league
basketball games and practices,” Pearce noted. “It’s also used by men
and women for volleyball games or people who want to rent it for an hour
or two to play some basketball or some women’s aerobics classes.”
the renovation, the rec center had no air conditioning, and the heating
system sometimes left a lot to be desired. The old temperature control
system “really limited the use of this space during the summer seasons,”
“We hope these renovations will stimulate the use of the building,” Pearce added.
from rentals goes back into the property sooner or later. “None of this
would be possible without the community support. The Rotary can’t do it
alone, without the donations from the community members,” Pearce said.
“As long as we get support we will keep maintaining the building.”
A bit of history
former armory was erected by the state of Ohio in 1927, and when it was
no longer needed as a National Guard armory the property was sold to the
Greenfield Jaycees, who ran it as a recreation center for several
years. David Moon, who was a member of both the Jaycees and Rotary, was
instrumental in convincing the state to sell the facility to the Jaycees
in 1975, and Moon helped coordinate the center’s operation for many
years. When the Jaycees organization folded, the property was
transferred to the Greenfield Rotary Club, with Moon continuing to
coordinate its usage.
major player in the activities of the Greenfield Rotary Club and in the
operation of the rec center was Ralph W. Phillips. When Phillips became
ill in 1998, the club decided to honor him by naming the rec center
For more information about renting the Ralph W. Phillips Community Recreation and Civic Center, call (937) 981-3188.