Inclusive play area, new shelters among possible improvements at Strang Park in OP

A portion of the old Strang Interurban Railway remains at the center of Strang Park in Overland Park.

Strang Park in northern Overland Park will be next to get a makeover. The city is planning to redo its master plan of the roughly 10-acre park just south of Central Resource Library, with an all-inclusive play area on its list of possible improvements.

The City Council approved $98,500 to hire Vireo, a Kansas City landscape architecture firm, to start work on the design of the park at 89th Street and Farley Street.

Greg Ruether, director of parks services, said the park is long overdue for improvement. Other than some resurfacing, there hasn’t been any significant work on the park in 30 years, he said.

The park has tennis and basketball courts, a loop walkway, shelters and historical signage. The city’s wish list for improvements includes a new restroom, new shelters and upgrades to the loop path along with the inclusive play area.

The city is planning to keep the historical panels on the site and potentially add more historical elements.

But the city also has asked Vireo to give recommendations about other amenities that incorporate new design trends and complement the neighborhood. The historical panels would be kept, according to city documents. The city’s instructions to Vireo also request historical elements be included.

The park is named for William B. Strang, who built the Interurban Railroad connecting cities in the area. There are remnants of the track at the park.

The process will involve public input similar to what was done when the city redesigned Santa Fe Commons Park. Vireo will work with a steering committee of park stakeholders and will hold two open-house style public meetings to discuss what will become the new master plan. There will also be an on-line app and dedicated Facebook page for people to voice their opinions.

The council approved the initial agreement with Vireo with no discussion. The Strang Park project is already in the city’s five-year plan, with a total cost estimate of $2.2 million.