City of Shawnee

Proposed Community Center

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New Updates:

Every registered voter in Shawnee will be getting a ballot in the mail in May so you can vote on the proposed Community Center. If approved, the facility would be built near 61st and Woodland. The City is holding two informational sessions so you can ask questions and learn more before you receive the mail-in ballot. City staff will provide a short presentation at each meeting and will be available for any questions throughout the rest of the meeting. The same information will be presented at both meetings.

The presentations will start at 6:30pm.

  • Wednesday, April 10th at the Civic Centre at 13817 Johnson Drive from 6pm-7:30pm (Presentation will be at 6:30pm.)
  • Monday, April 29th at the Monticello Library at 22435 W. 66th Street from 6pm-7:30pm (Presentation will be at 6:30pm.)
We hope you join us at one of the meetings.  

Update from Tuesday, February 12, 2019

On Monday, February 11, the Governing Body voted to put the proposed Community Center on a ballot. In May 2019, voters will be asked whether they will or will not approve a mill levy increase to fund the Community Center. Final cost figures for the proposed property tax increase are included below, in the quick reference guide and in the full agenda here. This information was also presented at the February 11 City Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall at 11110 Johnson Drive.

You can also view the presentation from the February 11, 2019 City Council meeting here.


Home Value  Current Monthly Proposed Monthly Monthly Increase Yearly Increase
$100,000 $25.51  $28.31 $2.80 $33.60
$150,000 $38.26 $42.46 $4.20 $50.40
$200,000 $51.02 $56.61 $5.59 $67.08
$250,000 $63.77 $70.79 $7.02 $84.24
*$263,130 $67.12 $74.48 $7.36 $88.32
$300,000 $76.52 $84.91 $8.39 $100.68
$350,000 $89.28 $99.07 $9.79 $117.48
$400,000 $102.03 $113.22 $11.19 $134.28

*Average 2018 Shawnee home value




What will the mail-in ballot say?
Shall the following be adopted?

Shall the City of Shawnee, Kansas, issue general obligation bonds in one or more series in an amount not to exceed $38,000,000 to pay the costs of the design, construction, furnishing, equipping, operating, and financing of a new community center at West 61st Street and Woodland Drive within the City, including park amenities, site work, and indoor recreational and aquatic features, together with all related improvements, with all or a portion of the debt service on such bonds paid through an increase in the property tax levy, all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 10-101 et seq., K.S.A. 12-1736 et seq., K.S.A. 25-431 et seq., Article 12, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, and Ordinance No. 3251 of the City?
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 2007 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.
When would the property tax sunset or expire?

If the proposed Community Center passes, the financing plan calls for the issuance of bonds, which will mature in not more than 20 years. At that point, it will be up to the Governing Body whether to reduce taxes. 

Election Resolution Information

Please click here to view the election resolution. It will be published twice in The Legal Record, on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 and Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

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 2007 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. 
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.

Why a property tax instead of a sales tax?
It would take another quarter cent sales tax based on the current retail environment to generate the estimated $2.75 million needed each year for 20 years to cover bond payments on the proposed Community Center. Special sales taxes are required to sunset in ten years unless extended by public vote. Shawnee's current total sales tax rate of 9.6% is among the highest in Johnson County. Also, property tax is historically more stable in changing economic conditions than sales tax. 

Community Center