City of Shawnee

Community Center Feasibility Study


On Monday, February 11, the Governing Body will be asked to consider whether to put the potential Community Center on a ballot. If that happens, voters would be asked whether they would or would not approve a mill levy increase to fund the Community Center. Final cost figures are still being worked out. That information will be available at the February 11 City Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall at 11110 Johnson Drive.

Two public meetings were held in January. 

    • A meeting was held January 15, 2019 at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School at 12701 W. 67th St. from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    • A meeting was held January 16, 2019 at Monticello Trails Middle School at 6100 Monticello Rd. from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 





    Community Center Background
    The following information is from a memo that was presented at the January 8, 2018 City Council meeting. At that meeting, Councilmembers approved the contract with Sink Combs Dethlefs to conduct Feasibility Study Services. You can click here to read the full memo and contract.

    An additional community center for the residents of Shawnee has been discussed in various forms since 2005. In February 2005, a presentation to the Public Works & Safety Committee outlined the trend of community recreation centers including indoor aquatic components. Examples of neighboring communities were shown and membership and programming options were discussed. The Council asked that a new recreation facility study be discussed during the CIP process and that possible locations be considered.

    After extensive research and negotiations, the City purchased 26.3 acres of land at 61st and Woodland in May 2005 earmarked for a future park/pool/community center. In the fall of 2006, RDG Planning & Design Consultants were hired to conduct a planning charrette with staff, possible partner organizations and residents to develop a program to assist with design and site development. The final report presented in January 2007 identified possible site plans, partners, program areas, site constraints and opportunities. However, due to the recession, the discussion of a new community center was tabled with no specific time to readdress.

    The demand for additional recreational facilities have continued to grow since the study in 2007. Park and Recreation Needs Assessments conducted in 2008 and 2013 show that the need for indoor recreational and/or aquatic facilities have consistently remained as one of the most needed recreational facilities with strong support to build and operate. In addition, in the more recent Citizen Satisfaction Surveys in 2015 and 2017, the support has been trending up with over 64% being very supportive/supportive and only 19% unsupportive. The opening of the new Lenexa Community Center and the recent approval of the new Merriam Community Center has spurred increased calls and questions regarding the development of a community center for the residents of Shawnee.

    The Community Center Feasibility Study & Master Plan project is included in the 2018 Budget in the Parks and Pipes Fund. The process will have strong community involvement and direction. This study will also include an Operations Plan and ballot question to help determine if the City should move forward with the project. 
    Where would the Community Center be located?
    The site designated for the new Community Center would be in western Shawnee. The City purchased 26 acres of land in 2005 just east of W. 61st Street and Woodland Drive, with the idea of placing a Community Center in that area in the future. At the time, City staff looked at 13 different sites and determined this area just north of the Clear Creek Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail and just west of the train tracks to be the best area. It features wide, open green spaces, direct access to the Clear Creek trail and even a small pond on the property.
    Don't we already have a Community Center?
    We have a Civic Centre, but not a Community Center. The Civic Centre is designed to be more of a rental facility for meetings, group gatherings, events and weddings. We have been doing our best to squeeze recreation programming into the Civic Centre, but this is difficult to do because we are always working around rentals.
    What would happen to the Civic Centre?
    The Civic Centre will remain open. There are no plans to close it and, in fact, it recently received several new upgrades. The City also has purchased land nearby to possibly expand in the future.
    How would the new Community Center be paid for?
    If the Governing Body approves placing the potential Community Center on a ballot, voters would decide whether to approve a property tax increase to fund the Community Center. The Governing Body will make the decision about the ballot on February 11, 2019.
    What is this "3rd Place" phrase we're hearing?
    You may have heard or seen the phrases "3rd Place" or "One Roof Concept" in reference to the Community Center. Here is an explanation for what those mean.

    The sense of welcome in public buildings should offer a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. Sociologists have termed this quality the "3rd Place" -- the place which is neither home nor work, but represents an irreplaceable place for social connection. Such places create an opportunity for people with many different viewpoints and backgrounds to come together. The interactions which occur in these places is at the heart of creating community. 
    Other Recent Council Action

    The Governing Body received an update on the potential Community Center process on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. You can view that presentation here.

    In October, the Governing Body approved funding for some preliminary steps including architectural services, owner's representative services agreement and the construction manager's pre-construction costs.

    Our Parks & Rec Department provided an update to Council at the City Council Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 3. You can view it here.

    The consultant team presented the results of the potential Community Center study on Tuesday, August 7. If you were not able to attend and would like to view the presentation, just look directly below these updates. You can also listen to the audio from the Council Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 7.



    Community Center