Fairway has found a new permanent home for its public works building: in Roeland Park.
As part of a bond issue and sales tax initiative last year, Fairway planned to make significant upgrades to its swimming pool and to replace the public works building on Shawnee Mission Parkway. The public works facility actually consists of three structures, one of those used for salt storage. The building which fronts on SM Parkway has been commercial property in the past, including a liquor store at one point. Some of the structures date to the 1950s.
To replace the public works building, Fairway mayor Jerry Wiley said, the city needed to find a temporary location for its operation. In the course of that search, it came across the building in the Roeland Park industrial park above the old pool site just off Roe Avenue on Roe Parkway.
Although Fairway was only looking for a short-term lease, the building was for sale and offered a much better solution for locating the public works operation, according to the mayor. No similar property is available in Fairway, Wiley said. The new building has an office area plus more than 8,000 square feet of working space. Fairway reconsidered its options and decided to buy the building.
Ironically, the new Fairway public works building is directly across the street from the Roeland Park public works building. It moves public works from a property with about one-third of an acre to a site with 2.33 acres. Wiley appeared before the Roeland Park City Council recently to offer cooperation with the city and explain why Fairway would be operating out of Roeland Park.
“We want to be partners with you in any way we can,” Wiley said. “There are so many dynamics (for cooperation). We are wide open to collaborating on anything.”
Fairway has not determined a future for the property on SM Parkway, which will still be needed for a few months, Wiley said.