Lawrence city officials have confirmed a pair of key documents governing the public private partnership to build the $25 million recreation center and adjacent Rock Chalk Park still haven’t been finalized.
A master development agreement between the city of Lawrence, a Kansas University Endowment corporation, and a private company led by Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel hasn’t been signed by KU endowment officials, despite the city approving the agreement in March.
City officials also confirmed that a contract spelling out how Fritzel’s Bliss Sports II corporation will build the infrastructure on the site hasn’t yet been completed.
Word of the unsigned documents come as city officials are slated to receive bids on Wednesday to construct its $25 million recreation center near the northeast corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.
The development agreement spells out how 26 acres of ground owned by the KU Endowment Corporation’s RCP, LLC will be transferred to the city for use as a recreation center site. It also spells out what costs the city is responsible for as part of the recreation center and the larger Rock Chalk Park development.
The infrastructure improvements contract is a document between KU Endowment and Fritzel’s Bliss Sports II that sets the terms for how Bliss will construct the infrastructure on the site. Although the city isn’t required to sign the contract, it does cover infrastructure that will serve the recreation center site. City commissioners approved the master development agreement even though it references the infrastructure construction contract, which had not been drafted at the time commissioners approved the master development agreement.
City Manager David Corliss said he will recommend that city commissioners hold off on signing a contract with a builder for the recreation center until the master development agreement is signed by all parties.
But Corliss said he expects that to happen soon.
“KU Endowment has told me they are nearly 99 percent complete with their review of the document,” Corliss said.
The city is scheduled to accept the bids on Wednesday and vote on a contractor at the commission's May 21 meeting.