Prairie Village councilors look to Gladstone, Mo., project as inspiration for injecting life into Harmon Park

An overhead view of Gladstone's Linden Square. Photo via Linden Square Facebook page.
An overhead view of Gladstone’s Linden Square. Photos via Linden Square Facebook page.

A group tasked with planning for how to use the $1.9 million that’s accrued in Prairie Village’s Economic Development Fund over the past decade has proposed spending $50,000 on a study to determine the feasibility of a project that would transform the little-used Harmon Park hill in Prairie Village into a center for community performances and other events.

City Council President Brooke Morehead presented a broad strokes outline of what she tentatively called the “Village Square” project to her council peers Monday. The idea is largely based on the Linden Square project completed in Gladstone, Mo., in 2013.

That project features a permanent performance structure that can house bands large and small, and that provides enhanced acoustics for the audience seated in a tiered area starting at its base. In the winter, the site is configured to house a removable ice skating rink.

Kerry Newman of SFS Architecture, which designed the Gladstone project, said total costs on that effort had totaled approximately $1 million.

Morehead said such a project in Harmon Park would help bolster the sense of community connection for the stretch of Mission Road that runs from the Village Shops to Corinth Square. The city has committed to investing funds to build out quality-of-life improvements including special lighting fixtures, a wide walking and biking path, and seating areas along the stretch of Mission that runs from 71st Street to 75th Street later this year. Those aesthetic enhancements are expected to be continued along Mission down to Corinth Square when the city renovates that stretch of road in 2017.

In the initial schematic presented to the council on Monday, all of Harmon Park’s other features — including the skate park, the playground, the tennis courts and the disc golf course — remained intact.

The proposal to spend $50,000 on the feasibility study will come before the council for consideration at a later date.

You can find out more about Linden Square here.

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In the winter, the square houses an ice skating rink.
In the winter, the square houses an ice skating rink.