Prairie Village greenlights Harmon Park all-inclusive playground project

The Prairie Village city council Monday gave the OK to restart discussion on a Harmon Park project that could provide new playground equipment and relocate tennis courts and parking. While

The Prairie Village city council Monday gave the OK to restart discussion on a Harmon Park project that could provide new playground equipment and relocate tennis courts and parking.

While the governing body approved the $575,000 project in the 2018 budget cycle, Harmon Park’s update has been put on hold due to the Village Square and civic center conversations — both of which were determined to have potential construction conflicts with the playground. With movement on Village Square’s skate park and performance pad, and the pause on the civic center conversation, city staff is looking to move forward with the playground project.

Some councilmembers, like Chad Herring, expressed support for moving forward with the project at this time as well as the proposed layout.

“I understand why it’s taken us this route to get here, but I think it’s important for us to get this done, I think it’s an important amenity for Prairie Village —and it’s overdue, so I’m glad we’re doing that,” Herring said.

Aerial view of Harmon Park's proposed layout
The new Harmon Park layout will place the play set near the Santa Fe shelter, with nearby parking, and relocate the practice tennis courts to the north. Image via Prairie Village city documents.

Prenger presented city staff’s proposed location for the play set, close to the Santa Fe shelter near the southern part of the park. The reason staff chose this location, Prenger said, is to protect the play set from potential relocation resulting from any future civic center construction.

The proposed location would bring a new parking lot where the current practice tennis courts reside, meaning the courts would be relocated to the northern part of the park. Additionally, new sidewalk connectivity would need to be constructed under this plan, Prenger said.

Councilmember Terrence Gallagher said he has concerns about how far people will need to travel from a parking lot to the Harmon Pavilion. Gallagher also expressed concerns about potentially losing trees at the park, but Prenger said the city will not remove park trees unless they are dead, dying or need to be removed as part of ADA-compliance for the all-inclusive set.

City council will see the play set design and construction in the 2021 budget cycle for a 2022 project, Prenger said. Staff is currently looking into community engagement options for input on Harmon Park, she said.

“We want it to be what’s best for the community and we want it to be what’s going to last for the community,” Prenger said.