Duane Cash

City of Lenexa rides public project wave with Shawnee Mission schools aquatic center

Another public-use piece of the Lenexa City Center development district has snapped into place, thanks to Monday's approval by the Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education for a $27.8 million aquatic center and parking garage.  

Located just north of the Lenexa Recreation Center across West 87th Street Parkway, the state-of-the-art aquatic facility will be the primary location for district swim meets and various aquatic programs. 

"We are developing a brand new 21st century Downtown, and part of having a place where people will come is having good components that will bring people there," Lenexa City Administrator Eric Wade said at Monday's school board meeting. "It's going to be a wonderful place for people to be, with hotels, restaurants, and a new public market."

The project designed by ACI Boland Architects includes a mezzanine/spectator area overlooking a 50-meter competitive swimming pool, diving well and adjacent 25-yard pool for training purposes.  

"This aquatic center is a big building, but we tried to make the building feel as if you are connected to it," said Duane Cash, ACI Boland project manager. 

The project also includes a two-story, $4.4 million parking structure that will be paid for through a 50/50 cost-sharing split between the City of Lenexa and the school district. The Lenexa City Council is expected to approve the plan later this month.

Currently, the district holds swim meets in Olathe School District facilities through a rental agreement because existing swimming pool facilities at SMSD high schools are not large enough to accommodate high school swim meets, according to the district.  

When not in use by the district, the Johnson County Park and Recreation District will offer county swimming lessons and programs in the aquatic center.