Douglas County Commission approves site plan for reconstruction of Clinton Presbyterian Church

photo by: Meeting screenshot/Douglas County Commission

Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky speaks to the County Commission during a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

A new church building is on the way for a rural Douglas County community after its former church burned down in a fire last year.

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a site plan for Clinton Presbyterian Church to rebuild its church building at 588 North 1200 Road, which is in the unincorporated community of Clinton, west of Clinton Lake.

The proposed 4,244-square-foot church will be built in the same general area of Clinton Presbyterian’s former church building, which burned down in August 2019.

588 N 1200 Rd, Lawrence, KS 66047

Commissioner Michelle Derusseau said she was excited to approve the plan, noting she saw the wreckage of the fire firsthand.

“That church was such an important part of the community,” Derusseau said. “It was a really sad day for the community.”

Stan Hernly, the architect for the project, said the reconstruction of the church is also important to the Clinton community as a whole because the facility is not only a religious institution but a community meeting place.

Clinton Presbyterian plans to build the new church on a nearly 8-acre parcel directly north of the previous church’s location. Along with the church, a surrounding gravel drive would be built, including roughly 30 parking spots just south of the building. Planning documents show the drive extends about 370 feet to North 1200 Road, over the general area where the previous church was located.

photo by: Screenshot/Douglas County Commission

This map provided to the Douglas County Commission by Lawrence-Douglas County Planning and Development shows a planned construction of a church at 588 North 1200 Road, transposed over a map of Clinton Presbyterian Church’s previous facility in the same general area. Clinton Presbyterian is pursuing the construction of a new church because its previous church burned down in August 2019.

In other business, the commissioners approved a reclamation plan for Big Springs Quarry, located at 2 North 1700 Road, in the northwest part of the county.

Mid-States Materials, the owner of the property, plans to reclaim two quadrants — identified as Aqua and Orange — of the quarry by allowing several former pits to become ponds. The largest of the ponds would have a maximum depth of about 45 feet.

The commissioners also approved funding a staffing expansion of the county’s integrated crisis team, which is a multi-agency team working in LMH Health’s emergency department that provides behavioral health services.

The Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition — including Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, LMH Health and other local behavioral health organizations — had requested up to $88,000 for the remainder of the current year and up to $522,000 for 2021 to add what amounts to about five full-time positions.

Bob Tryanski, director of behavioral health projects for the county, said the funding will provide a “bridge” for the integrated crisis team’s staffing until the county’s behavioral health crisis and recovery center opens. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

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