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'master plan'

Oct 27

Community members tour regional parks and recreation facilities

Posted to Merriam Parks Facilities Master Plan Updates on October 27, 2016 at 2:03 PM by Andy Graham

On Monday, October 24, four city council members, three steering committee members, one citizen, two city staff members, and three consultants toured five area recreational facilities. Each facility provided a unique perspective into how a variety of local communities provide recreational services.

Here’s a rundown of facilities the group toured:  

Olathe Community Center
Age: 2 years
Size: 71,168 square feet
Construction Cost: $28.5 million
Annual Operation Cost: $1.978 million
Features/Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center, meeting rooms, child watch, walking track, dedicated indoor child play area, three regulation gymnasiums, artwork
Miscellaneous: Located in a park setting

Sylvester Powell Community Center, Mission
Age: 17 years/renovation after 5 years
Size: 80,000 square feet
Construction Cost: $16.5 million
Annual Operation Cost: $2.125 million
Features/Amenities: indoor pool, fitness center, walking track, meeting rooms, 3 regulation gymnasiums, congregation space for adults
Miscellaneous: closest community center to Merriam

High Blue Wellness, Belton
Size: 56,000 square feet
Construction Cost: Unknown
Annual Operation Cost: $1.6 million
Features/Amenities: indoor pool, outdoor aquatics, specialized fitness space, one gymnasium
Miscellaneous: located in a park setting

The View, Grandview
Age: 13 years
Size: 60,000 square feet
Construction Cost: $12 million
Annual Operation Cost: unknown
Features/Amenities: small indoor pool, art space, congregation space, incorporation of art, meeting rooms, fitness center, gymnasium

Gamber Community Center, Lee’s Summit
Age: 8 years
Size: 19,000 square feet
Construction Cost: $3.75 million
Annual Operation Cost: $453,600
Features/Amenities: meeting/congregational space, incorporation of art, park setting, outdoor amenities, small fitness center, small classrooms
Miscellaneous: originally built as a senior center

The tours were intended to provide examples of building layout, perceived value of services offered, as well as the size, scope, and operations (including staffing requirements) of similar amenities. Overall, it’s beneficial to see similar spaces in use when discussing options for building a new space. It is also helps to hear about lessons learned during the planning and construction process. Lastly, because of the varying ages of the facilities toured it allowed the group to see how interior details can be an important factor to consider when budgeting for long-term operational costs.  

Next Steps
As we near the end of the process to develop a Facilities Master Plan, mark your calendars for a public meeting at the Irene B. French Community Center on December 13 at 7 p.m. This is when the Master Plan consultants will present their draft recommendation of what a new facility should include to meet the community’s needs. After receiving public input, the consultants will present the final recommendation to Merriam City Council at the January 9 council meeting.
 
Upon acceptance of the recommendation, city council will begin discussion about how to proceed. Council will also review estimated costs for two other complete concepts that were developed as part of a previous assessment. City staff’s objective will be providing council members with the detailed information needed to make the most informed decision.
Sep 22

Welcome!

Posted to Merriam Parks Facilities Master Plan Updates on September 22, 2016 at 11:51 AM by Andy Graham

Welcome to the first blog update about the Merriam Parks and Recreation Facility Master Plan. We're glad that you are interested in the process and encourage all members of the community to remain informed about the project. Let's start with some background on the issues we face:

The Irene B. French Community Center
The City of Merriam purchased what is now the Irene B. French Community Center (IBFCC) in 1988 for $285,000. Renovation began in 1989 and included updates to all mechanical systems; new floors, windows and doors; and work to make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — including the addition of an elevator.

Total startup costs for IBFCC (purchase, repairs and upgrades) came to an estimated $2.3 million. The facility opened in February1990 and has been an active part of our community. 

The Merriam Aquatic Center
The Merriam Aquatic Center (MAC) was built in 1985 and renovated in 1995. Traditionally, the life of a pool basin is anywhere between 30 – 40 years. This estimated life expectancy depends on many factors, including weather (freeze-thaw cycles and annual moisture play major roles).

Assessing conditions at the IBFCC and the MAC
Over the years, maintenance of aging infrastructure at both facilities has significantly increased. In spring 2014 a facility assessment was completed on the MAC by Larson and Associates. In the spring of 2015 a similar study was completed on the IBFCC. Findings from both studies revealed that across the board, systems are failing and repair costs are staggering.

Findings of the two studies led to the formation of a Steering Committee and the recommendation to undertake the Facility Master Plan process to identify what the community wants for its Parks & Rec facilities. Today, we are four months into the process of working with Pros Consulting to complete the study (after an in-depth selection process).

One of the major factors in the process is conducting a statistically valid survey. The survey has been completed and results are expected this week. These findings should provide more insight into which services and amenities the community would like, and if new facilities are warranted. 

Once the final report is completed in December, recommendations will go before the Merriam City Council to decide how the city should proceed.

Thank you for your interest and continue to stay up-to-date by reading weekly updates to this blog.

Stay tuned...this is an exciting time to live in Merriam!