Lenexa moves forward with plan to build new police station and courthouse

Lenexa is relocating its public safety complex to a centralized area of the city.

The Lenexa City Council on Tuesday unanimously accepted a public safety master plan evaluating the city’s aging facilities and future public safety needs. Acceptance of the plan and recommendation means the city plans to relocate its aging public safety complex from 87th Street Parkway to a central location at Prairie Star Parkway and Britton Street.

Based on the master plan’s recommendation, the city is planning to spend roughly $70 million on the new facility.

“It’s a big deal for all of us, for all the right reasons, and we’re positive for the right fiscal reasons as well,” said Mayor Mike Boehm.

The master plan and study of the city’s public safety needs determined that the aging facilities on 87th Street Parkway are no longer adequate to meet the needs of the city’s growing population. A new complex would also invest more in the Lenexa Police Department’s training facilities and assist with recruiting new officers.

“It’s important that our chief and our public safety officers have our commitment and know that this is something that will be coming as they recruit people,” Boehm added. “They can show beautiful pictures and let them know, in the not too distant future, this will be happening as opposed to the older type facility they’ll be working in today.”

Boehm said the city’s intent is to sell the current site and ensure it is used for purposes “appropriate for the neighborhood.” Lenexa city leaders plant to collect public input on that at a later date.

“Our commitment is to have dialogue and do the right things for the community there,” Boehm said. “That’s about as far as we can commit this far in advance, not knowing when, if and who.”

Councilmembers shared their support for proceeding with the project as quickly as possible, provided the city has funding in place.

“Except for the virus and slowing down our CIP (capital improvement program), I think we’d be close to a groundbreaking,” said Councilmember Bill Nicks, adding that he’s open to phasing in the project.

Due to the financial uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, city staff has not yet requested permission to proceed with design and construction for a new public safety complex — or funding to support it out of the capital improvement program.

City leaders and staff will evaluate the project and possible funding options. City staff have noted they expect to have a better picture of Lenexa’s financial situation in March 2021.