The Merriam city council on Monday evening heard the latest update on the new Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater Street, including an official opening date: June 8.
Assistant City Administrator Meredith Hauck presented a transition plan from the Irene B. French Community Center to the new community center that included details for moving out and moving in, as well as an opening plan. Below is how the city will move from IBFCC to the new facility:
- May 15, 2020: Hauck said Merriam “gets the [new] building,” and in-building training begins. IBFCC closes to the public, but a contingency plan will allow the Meals on Wheels program to continue to operate.
- May 16, 2020: Following the Merriam Turkey Creek Festival, the city begins to move into the new community center.
- May 26, 2020 (Day after Memorial Day): Pool balancing completed, tours of the new community center begin.
- May 31, 2020: IBFCC flag lowering ceremony in the evening.
- June 1, 2020: Flag raising ceremony at new community center; Doors open to charter members for limited daily hours; Soft opening events begin; First day of Merriam swim team practice at the new facility.
- June 5, 2020: A private, evening Merriam Friends and Family event to celebrate the work that’s been done. Soft opening events end.
- June 6 to June 7, 2020: New community center open for full hours to charter members only, a perk of the membership. June 7 is the last day to purchase a charter membership and the last day to get a tour of the building.
- June 8: The facility is open to all for the full hours.
- Late June or early July: Grand opening event
The outdoor pool at the new community center will not be open by Memorial Day, May 25, Hauck said. The city reached out to Super Pass participants Roeland Park and Mission to explore a potential agreement that would allow Merriam residents with a community center membership access to those pools from May 25 to June 7, Hauck said. The city would cover the cost of entry during that time period and is currently working on a final agreement to bring back to the city council for consideration, she said.
Councilmember Jason Silvers asked city staff how many charter memberships have been sold to date. Park and Recreation Director Anna Slocum said that, with limited marketing, 10 memberships have been sold so far. There is a social media campaign in place and a marketing push for those memberships, Hauck said.
The city council did not have to take any action during the meeting regarding the community center opening date. Hauck said the project is still on budget, and that she feels confident about the opening date — “assuming we don’t have two more weeks of rain.”