By David Markham
Various upgrades are planned for 2022 at JCPRD parks and facilities, including several Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades as well as studies, which pave the way for future projects.
Here is a brief summary and update on some of the projects planned for the coming year:
2022 Strategic Plan Update
A lot has changed since the JCPRD (Legacy Plan) strategic plan was completed in 2015. It is important to reassess strategic plans every few years to keep them fresh and up to date striving to meet changing needs of our community. Keep an eye out for opportunities for the public to contribute to this effort in 2022.
Central American Sports Complex
Following the early fall 2021 completion of a $12 million Phase 1 upgrades at MASC, the $10.3 million Phase 2 is underway. These renovations will mirror Phase 1 with the installation of artificial turf and the replacement of existing restrooms and concession areas on Fields 5-8, construction of a new maintenance building, other utility upgrades and paving, parking and lighting, and the addition of a turf warm-up and practice area. Phase 2 is expected to complete by Fall 2022, with Phase 3 enhancements beginning in late 2022 with an additional $9.12 million worth of projects.
Antioch Park Rose Garden Upgrades
This project will renovate the garden and remove ADA barriers. Part of the project will involve removing the existing fountain and adding a pergola. This will expand the area for weddings while reducing maintenance issues. The wall currently north of the fountain will remain as a backdrop. The existing gazebo near the Rose Garden, which was donated by the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Foundation in 2000, will also be repaired. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be completed later this year.
Meadowbrook Park Phase 2
JCPRD’s third inclusive play area will be the centerpiece of the next phase of Meadowbrook Park’s development which began in November and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The inclusive play areas are designed to allow all children to all abilities to play together. There will be a special swing for wheelchair users. All large pieces of equipment include shade elements and there will be two large umbrellas with built-in water misters. In addition to the inclusive playground, Phase 2 developments will include a picnic shelter, restrooms and off-street parking.
Meadowbrook Park Art Installation
A striking and dynamic form based on the Kansas sunflower was selected in late 2021 as the first site-specific public artwork to be placed in a JCPRD park. “Gateway” by Amie Jacobsen Art and Design was chosen by an art selection committee from 146 concept submissions. Standing nearly 12 feet tall, “Gateway” will feature multiple brightly colored, shaped petals of molded glass and steel, and will glow in sunlight as well as nighttime lighting. The center of the flower creates an arch that invites visitors to walk under the arch, where illustrated panels extend from the ground to the inner sides, creating a tapestry that depicts the history of the Meadowbrook Park and Prairie area Town.
Shawnee Mission Park Marina
Improvements to the Shawnee Mission Park Marina, which will include a new building on the west side of the marina to house watercraft and implement better flow for customers, as well as a new low freeboard dock accessible to the ADA to more easily get customers to their rentals and installation of a new ADA accessible kayak/canoe boat ramp east of the boat ramp area existing water should start at the end of the 2022 summer season and should be completed in the spring of 2023.
Other 2022 projects
Replacement of the air-supported Roeland Park Sports Dome, on the grounds of the Roeland Park Community Center, is planned with project completion scheduled for December 2022.
A Big Bull Creek Sunflower Trail Study is currently underway to plan a 2.5 mile paved trail to connect the maintenance complex at 199th and Four Corners Road to the developments on Sunflower Road north of 207th St. It is expected that some work on the trail could begin in 2022. and that it could be a multi-phased project, depending on the results of the study.
Projects completed in 2021
- After the northern portion of Cedar Niles Park’s first phase of development was completed and opened in early 2021, the rest of the 1,030-acre park opened earlier this month. The park includes 4 miles of paved trails, 4.4 miles of single-track hiking and mountain biking trails, three access points with water fountains and a playground, a medium shelter and restrooms at the starting point. access from 135th Street. A ribbon cutting for the new park is planned for this month of April.
- A new entry plaza with shelter and landscaping honoring JCPRD’s first superintendent, John Barkley, has opened near the 79th Street entrance to Shawnee Mission Park.
- A new restroom has been completed in the off-leash area of Shawnee Mission Park.
Shelters #5, #6, and #7 at Shawnee Mission Park have been replaced on the north side of the lake.
- At Heritage Park, a new paved trail measuring approximately 0.9 miles now connects Shelter #11 to Shelter #6, where it joins the existing paved trail.
- Phase 1 improvements at Ernie Miller Park have been completed and involved replacing and improving the park’s outdoor amphitheater, adding an outdoor classroom on the pond just north of the amphitheater and the addition of a new accessible parking lot and bus loop closer to the nature center.
- At Arthur and Betty Verhaeghe Park, the existing play area has been nearly doubled with the addition of play equipment for children aged 2 to 5, and a small number of plots have been made for a community garden project .
For the latest information on JCPRD projects, visit JCPRD.com.