Lenexa Community Center set to get a new name following reconstruction project

The Lenexa Community center. File image.

The basketball gym in Old Town Lenexa now known as the Lenexa Community Center will get a new name once a reconstruction project there gets underway, the city council has decided.

The details: The gym, which has served as a place for pickup basketball games, cat and craft shows and voting, will become the Lenexa Old Town Activity Center in coming months.

The rebranding has been needed for years because of confusion with the Lenexa Rec Center, a newer, larger fitness facility that also houses a place for hoops. Logan Wagler, the city’s parks and recreation director, told the council the similar names have caused frequent mix-ups since the Rec Center opened in 2017.

The two buildings are about three miles apart.

Coming up with the new name: Parks board members considered the location and history and decided Old Town and Lenexa needed to be in the new name, Wagler said. Ultimately they landed on the Lenexa Old Town Activity center.

The name choice was not an instant hit with all council members. Mayor Mike Boehm said most people would naturally say “Old Town Lenexa,” rather than “Lenexa Old Town.”

Reactions from city council: Councilmember Joe Karlin also raised an eyebrow at the length of a name of eleven syllables. “It seems like a mouthful to me,” he said. “I really liked the old town part of it. So I would go hard on that. But the rest just seems kind of clunky.”

Councilmember Courtney Eiterich said the proposed name at first reminded her of the Olathe School District’s College Boulevard Activity Center, which has become known as CBAC. “Are we going to call this LOTAC?” she joked.

Others, like Councilmember Dan Roh, had no such qualms. The new name won’t be used until the redevelopment of that building and the Senior Center next door get underway, he said, giving people time to adjust. Even so, he said, it may be a generation before the new name becomes the norm.

At one point, Boehm asked a group of Boy Scouts who remained after leading the Pledge of Allegiance what they thought. “Sure, why not,” was the reply.

Ultimately the council gave unanimous approval to the name change.

Wagler said the Indian Trails Aquatic Center, and Black Hoof disc golf course may be the next subjects of renaming.

Key quote: “The genesis behind the change really boils down to one single factor and that is there’s just a lot of confusion with our patrons with our community and even staff. The Rec Center and the Community Center are somewhat interchangeable. We regularly have people show up at the Rec Center thinking they’re supposed to be in the community center for a program,” parks and recreation director Logan Wagler said.