The new state-of-the-art competition aquatic center now being designed for the Shawnee Mission School District will be operated by the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District.
The approximately 1,500-seat natatorium is planned for land donated by Lenexa at 87th Street and Penrose Lane, and is expected to open in Fall 2018.
The school board approved a preliminary agreement Monday that calls for the facility to be operated by the County Parks and Recreation District for 10 years, with the option for five-year renewals.
“We think it’s a great partnership,” said Deputy Superintendent Kenny Southwick.
The $20 million project is being designed to attract regional and national club swim meets as well as serve Shawnee Mission students. Both high school swim meets and swimming lessons for all the district’s elementary students are expected to be hosted at the new facility.
As part of the agreement with the county, the Shawnee Mission District will have priority on scheduling and pay no fees for using the facility.
“This makes sense because the district has expertise in aquatic facilities,” said attorney Fred Logan, who negotiated the agreement.
The natatorium is being designed by ACI Boland Architects of Leawood and Counsilman-Hunsaker, a St. Louis-based national designer of aquatic facilities. Construction is expected to begin next spring.
The new natatorium also will be a major attraction at Lenexa City Center, a destination development that includes shopping, hotels, restaurants, offices and apartments.
Lenexa donated property valued at $1 million for the project. The funding for the natatorium construction comes from a $223 million bond issue approved by district voters in early 2015.