TAAA News Release February 23, 2009

For Immediate Release



Photo by Bill Lofquist: TAAA members participate in the transfer of the deed for the TAAA Astronomy Complex in the office of the club’s attorney. President Ken Shaver gives Robert Crawford the one dollar the club is giving for 16 acres of property for the Complex. Robert Crawford, Representative for the Perseus Group, Receives the dollar and hands the deed of transfer to the club. Perseus Group members Crawford, John and Liz Kalas, Sam Rua and Erich Karkoschka have purchased the land and donated it to the club. Bill Lofquist has worked with the planning process for the Complex.

TUCSON, AZ, FEBRUARY 23, 2009: “Several important events have taken place as we move toward the construction of the TAAA Astronomy Complex near the Chiricahua Mountains in Cochise County,” advises Bill Lofquist, immediate Past President of the Tucson Amatuer Astronomy Club.

On Wednesday, February 11, the deed for the sixteen acres of property where the Complex will be located was transferred from The Perseus Group to club President, Ken Shaver. “As many members know, the Perseus Group consists of Sam Rua, Robert Crawford, Liz and John Kalas and Erich Karkoschka. These four members purchased 60 acres of land in October 2007, with a view toward donating a portion of it to TAAA to develop the Complex,” Lofquist noted. The sixteen acres are located within a square 40 acre parcel and buffered by the surrounding property. As a result of this very generous gift, TAAA is able to use the resources which have been donated by many members over the years to develop the Complex.

Noted Lofquist, “Now that the property has been transferred and belongs to the club, we are able to obtain our first building permit.” Toward that end, the construction plans have been completed and requests have been made to three candidates for a general contractor to build the restrooms. A volunteer architect, Mr. John Riggs, has prepared the Master Site Plan and the plans for the restrooms. The Strategic Planning Group has overseen the preparation of the building permit, with John Kalas coordinating that effort. We are hoping to have the application for the permit submitted in early March. Construction will begin when we obtain the building permit.

The first phase of building will include installation of electric service, completion of the water system, building of the restrooms and septic system, and improvement of the roads leading to the Complex and the parking area within the Complex. Once this first phase work is completed, we will be able to begin using the site for observing. We hope we will be able to see first light in late spring or early summer.

“Many members have made significant contributions to bringing us along this far. But no one has contributed more than Robert Crawford,” said Lofquist. Robert is the chairman of the Perseus Group, but he has also contributed his many skills at project management and his careful approach to planning to the details of purchasing the property, creating the CC&Rs, design of the various parts of the infrastructure, coordinating the legal activities, and otherwise participating in the many decisions that have brought us this far. TAAA is indeed indebted to Robert for his diligence and commitment to seeing us create an excellent Complex.

As TAAA begins the construction of Phase One it will also look toward the future and plan toward additional features of the Complex. This will involve more members helping to plan the clubhouse, the sleeping rooms, the large and small observatories, the landscaping and other amenities. TAAA will provide announcements of special meetings to focus on these matters.


Information Contact:
Bill Lofquist
Phone: 520 297-6653
Email: past-president [at] tucsonastronomy [dot] org