Advertisement

Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

KU athletics department showing interest in west Lawrence recreation center

February 23, 2012

Advertisement

Plans for a new west Lawrence recreation center are taking a twist with talk of the Kansas University athletics department exploring interest in the project.

Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell confirmed the city is putting on hold plans to sign a contract with Lawrence-based Gould Evans architects to create concept plans and cost estimates for a west side center.

That’s because city officials want to allow more time for a private proposal that surfaced last week to develop. Details about that plan continue to be sketchy, but it is becoming obvious the private parties are thinking on a grander scale than the city.

Cromwell confirmed the KU athletics department has been approached about participating in some type of tournament and recreation center. The possibility of including track and field amenities at the site has been raised. No commitments from any party, however, have been given.

“The idea of bringing the university, the city and private individuals together is intriguing,” Cromwell said. “But it is complicated to bring that together, and it takes time.”

The city hasn’t yet disclosed who brought the proposal forward to the city. Cromwell, though, said he does expect to give the public more information about who is involved and the basic concepts in the next couple of weeks, after the feasibility of the concept is further explored.

In the meantime, Cromwell said city commissioners will wait to consider approving a $55,000 contract with Gould Evans, which would have created concept plans and cost estimates for a new center. The commission also will wait to approve a $16,500 contract with a Kansas City consulting firm that was to study the feasibility of creating public fundraising campaign for a recreation center project.

Cromwell said if this new proposal moves forward, the scope of the project could change significantly and make any plans by Gould Evans obsolete.

Cromwell did not have timeline for when the project may come back up for a full City Commission discussion.

Comments

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if a velodrome might have substantial community support.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 1 month ago

"substantial return on your tax dollar at a bargain price. "

What's the return? How much will this increase the city maintenance budget?

Taxpayers are also on the hook for the $$20 million $$ athletic projects. The athletic projects have become tax dollar money holes = spending never quits!

0

SPKU 2 years, 1 month ago

An ice rink in Lawrence will never happen. It would absolutely be successful with KU students, transplants and would draw from more than 200,000 residents in Topeka and Lawrence combined.

There just isn't anyone in L-town with enough guts to take the risk. Has to be same old, same old for Larryville.

0

ksarmychick 2 years, 1 month ago

They should make an indoor ski area :D

0

rockchalker52 2 years, 1 month ago

This is an opportunity to get a great facility that's beneficial in all kinds of ways. It's a real & substantial return on your tax dollar at a bargain price.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

It's in the public interest to provide adequate workout facilities for its residents. To that extent, I could support the construction of a facility similar to Holcomb or the E. Lawrence rec center on the west side of town.

But when the city's investment in the facilities I described above are merged with KU Athletics and other private interests, can the legitimate public interest still be met? What takes precedence, the need for the private interests to make a profit, or public access to facilities paid for with public funds? Will precedence be given to athletic competitions between college athletes or to city/county residents in rec leagues? Who decides?

0

SPKU 2 years, 1 month ago

What Lawrence needs is for this rec. center to include an ice rink. With transplanted KU students from Chicago, St. Louis and Omaha plus Lawrence and Topeka youth teams, an ice rink would have constant traffic.

0

Kookamooka 2 years, 1 month ago

"The idea of bringing the university, the city and private individuals together is intriguing,”

Don't other cities do this all of the time? Without Yale, New Haven is just a hole in the ground. I always wondered why the University was so "standoffish" about being part of the Lawrence community. And who are the private individuals?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.