History of the Ragel Family Greer Community Center

00_Greer-Community-Center

Site:

  • Gravel parking
  • Approximately 40 spaces, 2 ADA designated

Spaces:

  • Large Meeting Room
  • Small Meeting Room
  • Restrooms
  • Apache County Branch Library
  • Covered Meadow Patio

Floor to Ceiling Glass Windows: Panoramic views span the east walls of the building exposing and celebrating the preserved meadow.

windows_tall

Curved Walls: Recalling the meandering horse trails that once crossed this property and the historical adjacent stable uses, a meandering path leads visitors to the entrance of the center. Sweeping curved walls are inspired from the bends in these past horse trails.

wood_sidingWood Siding: Board and batten exterior siding is harvested from the adjacent Ponderosa Pine Forests and milled in the nearby Springerville and Nutrioso communities. Plywood walls and ceilings provide structure, and are exposed as a rustic finish for both the exterior and the interior.

Metal Roofing: Corrugated metal roofing is a reminder of roofing material historically used on local horse stables.

Concrete Flooring: The flooring is exposed concrete throughout most of the spaces. Aspen leaf prints are scattered across the concrete in various locations, reminding visitors of the seasonal enjoyment Greer offers. Horse shoe prints recall the prior horse riding history of the site.

concrete

Colors and Nature: Painted finishes are inspired with colors from nature, including white to match the oxidized aspen bark, burgundy to reflect the bark of the creekside willow branches, and red-orange to recall blooming Indian Paint Brush.

colors

Site & Building Design (1998-2012)

In 1998, the first concepts for a community center were reviewed. After a handful of design refinements and fund raising challenges, the building was completed for summer uses during the spring of 2005. Acknowledging significant financial contributions, the center was formally named “The Ragel Family Greer Community Center”. Along with the Ragel Family, overall community contributions of time and dollars from local businesses, local home owners, local property owners, various nearby community supporters, and visitors who love Greer allowed a vision to become real.

history1
Community Center Facility Under Construction

Community Workshop & Market Study (1996)

In 1996, the GCFA sponsored a workshop, held at the Montlure Presbyterian Church Camp, along the east fork of the Little Colorado River, to brainstorm with the community and prioritize wants, needs, and potential locations for community related facilities.

As part of the pre design investigations, the GCFA also sponsored a marketing analysis. This was purposeful in attempting to work with existing businesses as a community collaborator and not a community competitor.

design_sketch_01

Greer Community Facilities Association

As the land trade concluded, a nonprofit group was created to provide leadership within the community in regard to community designated property. This group is known as the Greer Community Facilities Association (GCFA).

greer_workshop

Land Exchange (1980s, 90s)

In the late 80s, the entire Greer Meadow was privately owned. During this time, much of the surrounding forested hillsides where National Forest, full of occupied cabins on land leased from the government. In the 90s, after decades of community coordination, a land exchange between property owners was finalized, where the surrounding cabin lands became privately owned and the meadow lands became federally owned (a massive act of stewardship toward the preservation of the Greer Meadow and it’s Little Colorado River, that is fed by its merging east fork and west forks at the south end of the Greer Meadow. Cattle grazing on ranch land, horses stabled for tourist rides, and other private interests were removed from the meadow.
As part of this trade agreement, land along Greer’s Main Street adjacent to the meadow, was designated for special community use purposes. This is where the community center is currently built.

Forest Service Amphitheater(1970s)

When the school house was demolished, for many years into the 70s, the Forest Service used the acreage for amphitheater events as part of a nearby camp ground. Currently, the acreage is privately owned with nearby hospitality and residential structures.

The Greer School House(1897-1960s)

In the 60s, a small single room school house was still standing and in regular use for educating the village of Greer’s youth. It was built one year prior to this special place being formally named Greer, Arizona in 1898. For almost 70 years the same building served as a place for locals to gather to discuss civic concerns. In later years, the Forest Service used the structure for stewarding care of our national forests. This public structure was perched on a bluff at the northeast corner of the Greer Meadow near the entrance to the East Fork Road. In our existing community center, signage, benches, and a bronze bell currently serve as memorabilia of these special times in Greer.

school