City, foundation preparing for Fairway to take over operation of Shawnee Indian Mission July 1

The city of Fairway will assume management of the Shawnee Indian Mission property on July 1.
The city of Fairway will assume management of the Shawnee Indian Mission property on July 1.

Come the first of next month, the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway will be under new management.

After years of state budget pressures that forced the reduction of hours at the historical site, Fairway began talking with state administrators last year about the prospect of having the city take over responsibility for the property.

The Kansas Historical Society and the city executed a formal agreement for Fairway to assume management of the property starting July 1, and on Monday the Fairway council approved an ordinance creating a new fund to finance operations of the site. Under the three-year agreement between the city and the state, the state will retain ownership of the property, but Fairway will handle its programming and upkeep. The new fund will be used to pay for routine maintenance items like mowing the grass, paying for air conditioning, and cleaning and stocking the restrooms.

Nancy Wallerstein, chair of the Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation, said her organization welcomed the coming change.

“The City of Fairway will bring new resources, talent, programming and communication to the site,” Wallerstein said. “We are working toward combining with other organizations so the Foundation will be the one clear voice in the community. The Foundation hopes to establish the Mission as a ‘community’ asset.”