The opening of the 84-acre county park planned for the former Meadowbrook Country Club property has been pushed back several months to April 2018 to include its planned new community center in the bidding package.
The park at the former golf course at 95th Street and Nall Avenue in Prairie Village had been scheduled to open in November 2017. But the Johnson County Parks and Recreation District board decided recently to package the two projects to save money.
Jeff Stewart, deputy director of the parks district, said a consultant believes the cost saving would be “significant” combining the construction bids.
“It’s the economy of scale,” he said. “A larger project will attract more contractors.”
Stewart said combining the contracts also should reduce the risk and coordination issues with having multiple general contractors, and improve security by limited access to the community center building site during construction.
He said the county does plan to move forward with the demolition of the existing Meadowbrook clubhouse by the end of the year.
The combined bid package for the park and 10,800 square-foot community center is expected to go out in March 2017 and be awarded in May. Construction is expected to begin in early June. The community center will cost an estimated $3.8 million.
The remaining one-third of the former Meadowbrook property is being developed by VanTrust Real Estate with 53 single-family homes, a 282-unit apartment project, 70 townhouses,a 50-room boutique hotel, 5,000 square-foot restaurant and a senior housing development with 330 units.
Justin Duff, director of development for VanTrust, said his firm is comfortable with the new park schedule.
“All of our heavy lifting for construction will still be going on throughout the year and it won’t affect the marketing of our project,” Duff said.
Duff said the townhouse portion of the project is expected to begin opening in Fall 2017. The apartments are expected to be completed in early 2018.
Stewart said the parks district is considering opening parts of the new Meadowbrook Park to the public even before the final completion date.
“If there are areas of the park like some of the trails that are completed, we’ll certainly consider doing that,” he said.
Quinn Bennion, city administrator of Prairie Village, said the city understands why the county decided to combine the bids, but would like to see at least part of the park opened earlier.
“We’d ask they consider opening the park, some of the trails, in November as originally planned,” he said.
The new community center is being designed by SFS architecture of Kansas City. It will include a 200-seat event space, early childhood development center, classroom, kitchen facilities, an outdoor play area and a deck overlooking the park.
Plans call for it to be located on the site of the current clubhouse.