With $10.5 million in new construction and development projects and $28 million in carryover projects, 2019 looks to be another busy year for JCPRD.
As part of the 2016 budget process, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners approved a 0.75 mill increase in JCPRD’s funding, to be used towards implementation of the agency’s Legacy Plan. This was reduced to a 0.72 mill increase for 2019. The Legacy Plan provides a strategic framework for the agency through 2030.
Here’s a brief synopsis of major projects for 2019. Keep in mind that all tentative completion projections are dependent upon favorable weather and are subject to change.
Probably the most anticipated project of the coming year is Meadowbrook Park, for which a second quarter opening is anticipated. This 80-acre park will feature a destination playground, nature play area, trails, pickleball courts, picnic shelters, large pavilion, outdoor fitness equipment, and the 10,000 square-foot Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse.
“Getting this beautiful park open is going to be a big deal and we are getting closer to that,” said Planning and Development Manager Cliff Middleton.
As of late January, officials anticipated the clubhouse building would receive a temporary occupancy permit shortly so interior setup could begin. Major tasks yet to be completed include installation of a parking lot, additional sidewalks, and the destination playground.
Construction of an observation tower in Kill Creek Park got under way in November, and a late 2019 completion is expected. The 45-foot tower will have an elevator and stairs, and will afford 360-degree views of the surrounding lake and prairie areas.
JCPRD officials are still exploring options to determine whether the marina operations at Shawnee Mission Park will be able to operate from its regular location or if a temporary nearby location will be needed this year. Late in the 2018 marina season, rotten roof beams were discovered within the marina building’s roof and the structure was closed. The marina typically operated on weekends during May and September, and daily from Memorial Day weekend to early August.
The inclusive playground being constructed in the north Walnut Grove area of Shawnee Mission Park is progressing, with the largest remaining items being some final grading and a pour-in-place safety surface which requires five days over 50 degrees. Inclusive playgrounds are meant to enable all children to play together without physical or social barriers. JCPRD opened its first inclusive playground in Stilwell Community Park in late September.
Development for construction of Verhaeghe Park is under contract, and work is expected to commence during 2019’s first quarter with an opening in the fall. Located near the intersection of 167th and Flint Street, this 11-acre property is located about halfway through the 3.4 miles of the Coffee Creek Streamway Park, which opened in October 2017, and will serve as a trailhead and access point for that trail. Planned amenities will include a picnic shelter, playground, community garden, drinking fountain, and parking lot.
A May bid award is anticipated for development of the first phase of the future Cedar Niles Park, which will encompass about 1,000 acres and stretch nearly two miles between 119th and 135th streets in Olathe. Plans for the first phase of development will focus primarily on roughly four miles of trails, mostly along Cedar and Little Cedar creeks. Three vehicular access points, and one bike/pedestrian access point are also planned. Officials anticipate development will take approximately 16 months with a late 2020 opening expected.
The master plan for the future Camp Branch Park is nearing completion is expected to be presented to the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners within the next two months. This 236-acre property is located between 175th and 183rd and Mission Road. Development of the first phase is anticipated to start in 2021.
About $2 million has been earmarked for sports field improvements during 2019. The money will be used to begin addressing issues being identified in an outdoor athletic field study, which began in June 2018. A final report is anticipated later this year for this study which encompasses all of JCPRD’s outdoor sports complexes, including: Mid-America and Mid-America West; Heritage Park football, soccer, and softball; and sports fields at Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park.