Merriam moving toward decision on community center, pool; hires consultant for parks study

The original community center building dates to 1911 and was the first school in Merriam.
The original community center building dates to 1911 and was the first school in Merriam.

The Merriam City Council this week awarded a contract for a Park Facilities Master Plan to provide direction on the fate of the city’s community center and swimming pool.

The Irene B. French Community Center was the subject of a condition assessment in 2015 that found serious deficiencies in the building. The same was true for the Merriam Aquatic Center which had its assessment done in 2014.

As part of the process to make a decision on how to address those facility issues, the city has hired Pros Consulting of Indiana to undertake a master plan and a needs assessment. The company will work with two Kansas City area companies to complete the assignment.

The city already has appointed a steering committee to guide the parks evaluation. The consultants plan to include focus groups, community forums and surveys in the evaluation of what parks facilities and programming will be needed in Merriam going forward.

The outcomes in the master plan process will identify potential expansion sites around the city as well as an analysis of the current sites. It also will include costs and revenue sources for its recommendations. The plan is anticipated by the first of the year.

The contract with Pros Consulting is for $149,365.