Roeland Park approves contract to shore up caves in preparation for development

The old pool site shown from above.
The old pool site shown from above.

By Holly Cook

The Roeland Park City Council Monday unanimously passed a motion to enter into an $820,000 contract with Pyramid Contractors for cave stabilization and site grading at Roeland Park’s old pool site. The council noted it may need to allocate additional funds for a retaining wall and dirt fill to bring the Pyramid contract total to $1.15 million. These additional funds would be reviewed by the Ad Hoc Development Committee.

The city will be using $1.3 million in TIF funds to pay for the construction and site improvement. A report from the Ad Hoc Development Committee indicated the city’s goal is to bring “the greatest market value to the property, while minimizing the development costs” for future developers.

The project is expected to be completed by March 2017 and city staff said Pyramid was planning to work through the winter. Among the four companies bidding on the project Pyramid Contractors offered the lowest bid and provided the fastest turnaround schedule.

Roeland Park City Administrator Keith Moody said Pyramid’s proposal was the best approach to stabilize the cave and prepare the site for future businesses. While other contractors proposed to fill the cave in with a concrete-type material, Pyramid will demo the site and then utilize an engineered fill to level the area. This process will provide more stability and maximize the potential of the location to be used for constructing commercial buildings, Moody said. New business owners will still need to do some additional grading and possible additional wall building.

“We are getting it as close as we can to shovel ready,” Moody said.

The city council has considered various redevelopment proposals for the site including plans for a hotel, restaurant and retail space, extreme sports complex, and amphitheater. Because it is not yet clear how the area will be utilized the city is anticipating future developers’ needs while preparing the site.

“The grading and retaining wall designs are intended to get the area close to what we anticipate the end user wanting, as we continue discussions with the Hotel and Extreme Sports prospects the grading plan may change,” the committee report stated.

Councilor Erin Thompson made the motion to enter into the contract and Councilor Michael Rhoades seconded the motion.

Pyramid Contractors is located at 795 W. Ironwood Olathe, KS.