Leawood advances proposal that would turn original city hall into community space, small museum

Jay Senter - December 7, 2017 6:59 am
The former home of Leawood's city hall at 96th Street and Lee Boulevard.
The former home of Leawood’s city hall at 96th Street and Lee Boulevard.

The Leawood City Council on Monday accepted a recommendation from the city’s historic commission to move the original city hall building at 96th Street and Lee Boulevard slightly north on the property and transform it into a multi-purpose community facility with space for meetings and a small museum.

The city had been considering a few options for the building, which has sat vacant for several years, including demolition and replacement with a replica, and moving the building south to Ironwoods Park. The historic commission’s recommendation is to lift the building from its foundation and move it approximately 40 feet to the north on the site. The short relocation would allow the city to build a new fire station on the site to replace the aging one just to the north of the city hall building.

Leawood Director of Parks and Recreation said her department would be issuing a request for proposal in the next month or so to get cost estimates for the project. She anticipated the city would have a better sense of the total budget for the proposal by the end of the first quarter of 2018. There is no timeline currently set for the project.

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The city council will have to consider formal proposals for the relocation project and associated construction work before it can move forward. Claxton said she expected it to be at least a couple of years before a full plan is developed and executed.

The historic commission produced a sample layout of a reworked interior for the city hall building, showing how it could accommodate meeting space and museum displays:

Leawood_Museum

The group also recommended that the city preserve the central bay of the adjacent fire station for conversion into a fire station museum that would include a vintage fire truck and firefighting gear.

“The space between the Old City Hall Building and the proposed Fire Station Museum could be developed into a courtyard compatible with the new Park currently in planning and development,” read a memo to the council from historic commission chairs Bruce Martin and Janet O’Neal.

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