Leawood will get public input on idea of relocating old city hall building on Lee to current city hall land

The former home of Leawood’s city hall at 96th Street and Lee Boulevard.

Leawood city leaders are inviting the public to provide input on the possible relocation of old city hall near 96th and Lee Boulevard.

The public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, at the current city hall, 4800 Town Center Drive, includes an open forum that will allow residents to comment on the idea of relocating the former city hall building from its current place at 9615 Lee Blvd. to a lot right next to the current city hall building.

City administrator Scott Lambers said the city doesn’t have details yet on what the move would look like. Rather, the intention of the meeting is to present an overlay of the site so the public can see it and provide input before any firm plans are made. Those plans include a potential new fire station on the property.

“This is really just getting a sense of people’s opinions,” Lambers said. “We don’t have any plans right now because we’ve been trying to get them (city councilmembers) to decide what to do with the fire station so that we could put together a concept plan, depending upon whether that stays or gets torn down.”

The city has been looking at the idea of converting the old city hall into a community space with a small museum. Other ideas include demolition and replacement with a replica, or possibly moving the building south to Ironwoods Park.

The city historic commission’s recommendation at one point was 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.

“In our last meeting, we were kind of thrown a curve where several councilmembers wanted to consider moving city hall, which was inconsistent with what has been planned for some time,” Lambers said.

Lambers said city councilmembers will take next steps on the old city hall and “maybe come to a decision as to what to do” after gathering public input at the forum. At this point, four councilmembers support the idea of moving old city hall, one is “adamantly” opposed and the others are “kind of on the fence,” he added.

“Now, we’re just at a point where we’re split on what to do, and I need for them to come together and decide and hopefully agree once a majority has decided what to do with it, and for us to then start moving forward with the planning of the park area,” Lambers said. “Right now, we’re just kind of on hold.”

If they are “unable” to decide next steps during the Nov. 12 meeting, Leawood city leaders also have tentative plans to continue discussion of the redevelopment plan during a council work session at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.