Shawnee Mission School District

Lenexa Civic Center is main dish at October CREW KC luncheon

Construction and project updates for Lenexa’s landmark $75 million, 200,000-square foot Civic Center development were on the menu at CREW KC’s quarterly luncheon, with project managers from the City of Lenexa, PGAV Architects, JE Dunn Construction and CBC Real Estate Group offering insight into everything from design challenges to project timelines.

Beccy Yocham, City of Lenexa director of community development, provided an overview of the multi-use project at 87th Street and Renner Blvd. In July, the new City Hall and Recreation Center opened, followed by the Lenexa Public Market in September. By the end of the year, construction will begin on a new branch of the Johnson County Library, as well as a $22 million Shawnee Mission School District aquatic facility and parking garage just north of the civic campus.

Jennifer Goeke, project manager for PGAV Architects, and Susan Schaefer, senior project manager for JE Dunn Construction, provided insight into the meticulous care and challenges involved in the design and construction process.

“Our goal was to create a unique sense of place for the City of Lenexa with pedestrian connectivity and really ‘activating the streets.' " Goeke said. “There was a lot of intent involved with the selection of materials and overall design to express the different components of the City Hall, Public Market and Recreation Center. One of the challenges was incorporating building services such as transformers, trash, utilities and loading docks because the buildings in this project don’t have a back side. They are all 360 degrees facing either public plazas or neighboring developments.”

Constructibility challenges included the 5-story, 500-space parking garage with a slight bend along 88th Street to maximize space within the project site. “This slight kink in the garage design added a month to the engineering process and at least a week to the erection process,” Schaefer said. "This was a 100 percent collaborative effort from beginning to end."

The collaborative spirit helped create friendships that made for a bittersweet conclusion to the massive three-year project, according to Michelle Kaiser, senior project manager for owner’s representative CBC Real Estate Group.

“The team spent a lot of time together over a two or three-year period, working all day and then bonding at Happy Hour ‘work sessions.' " Kaiser said. “It’s sad when you end such a great project after working with such a great team. There’s a bit of a let-down.”

Lenexa Civic Center is part of Lenexa City Center, a 200-acre, mixed-use development spanning all four corners of 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard. For more information, click here.

Lenexa Director of Dommunity Development Beccy Yocham teed up discussion of the Lenexa Civic Center project at  CREW KC 's quarterly luncheon at  Grand Street Cafe .

Lenexa Director of Dommunity Development Beccy Yocham teed up discussion of the Lenexa Civic Center project at CREW KC's quarterly luncheon at Grand Street Cafe.

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.