Trial date for legal issues surrounding fire-damaged Mission Bowl set for March 2017, delaying plans to rebuild

The Mission Bowl remains closed since a fire damaged it in April 2015.
The Mission Bowl remains closed since a fire damaged it in April 2015.

The owners of the fire-damaged Mission Bowl, closed since April 2015, say they can’t move forward with rebuilding the entertainment venue until a legal dispute is resolved over work done to secure it following the fire.

A lawsuit filed last February by Mission Bowl against Wichita-based National Catastrophe Restoration Inc. claims NCRI failed to properly protect sections of the interior that were undamaged by the fire.

As a result, Mission Bowl claims in a lawsuit filed in Johnson County District Court that almost $400,000 in additional damage occurred to the bowling lanes and pin-setting equipment because of leaks in the roof.

According to the lawsuit, NCRI has billed Mission Bowl $903,506 for the cleanup and protection work it performed on the damaged building following the April 3, 2015 fire, and has filed a mechanic’s lien to obtain the money.

Mission Bowl disputes that amount, saying an independent auditor determined the value of the work done by NCRI was $194,559. In its lawsuit, Mission Bowl said it terminated its contract with NCRI in June 2015.

Chris Sobba, the attorney representing Mission Bowl, said in an email the current trial date for resolution of the dispute with the contractor is March 2017.

Sobba also said the owners of Mission Bowl have filed a motion to remove a mechanic’s lien filed by the contractor which “continues to cloud title to the property and is preventing the funding necessary to rebuild.”

The Mission Bowl opened in 1956 and has been run for three generations of the Thomas family. Shortly after the fire occurred, the family said they wanted to reopen the facility as soon as possible.

In a statement, the family said it still wants to reopen the facility once the legal issues are resolved.

“Mission Bowl wants to continue to thank the city of Mission for the support and patience, as well as the loyalty of all our bowlers,” the family said in the statement.

“The O’Donnell and Thomas families will never forget the generosity of our bowlers and our families throughout this trying time, and we are excited to get Mission Bowl rebuilt and up and running again so we can continue what our family started back in 1956.”