Merriam voters have decided – the City will build a new community center.
According to the Johnson County Board of Elections, unofficial results show more than 2,490 mail-in ballots were cast with 67.5 percent of residents saying they want a new community center. The Johnson County Board of Commissioners will review and certify election results on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
With the majority vote, the City will issue $24 million in bonds to build a $30 million community center at Vavra Park and implement a new 10-year quarter-cent sales tax, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
The 66,000-square-foot community center will include an indoor/outdoor pool, walking/jogging track, a full-sized gym, and a child watch area, among many other amenities.
What Happens Next?
Merriam City Council will approve an ordinance at its next meeting on Sept. 25 to accept the election results and formally authorize the new sales tax.
The City also recently received proposals from companies to provide owners representative services for the project to help facilitate the new center’s design and construction process. The City is currently reviewing those proposals and City Council plans to approve a contract in October. Once on board, the successful company will assist the City in the selection process of an architect and contractor for the new community center.
The City anticipates a 2020 opening date for the new center.
New Community Center Amenities
In 2016, we asked the community what recreation amenities they wanted and would be willing to pay for in Merriam, and we’ve incorporated the top items into the plan for the proposed 66,000 square foot community center. The new community center would be located at Vavra Park (near site of the existing pool).
- Indoor walking and jogging track
- Fitness center and aerobics room
- Indoor pool with lap lanes, leisure pool, and therapeutic water
- Outdoor pool with spray pad, lap lanes, and leisure pool (lazy river, slides, etc.)
- Full size gymnasium
- Art gallery and senior lounge
- Party room
- Meeting and event space
- Catering kitchen
- Child watch
- Free social gathering space with WiFi