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New Lenexa library to open on June 2

The Lenexa City Cethenter Library will replace Lackman Library, more than doubling the library staff in Lenexa.
The Lenexa City Cethenter Library will replace Lackman Library, more than doubling the library staff in Lenexa. Courtesy photo

New Lenexa library to open on June 2

The new $21.1 million Lenexa City Center Library will open on June 2 at 8778 Penrose Lane.

Ceremonies start with a 1 p.m. ribbon cutting, accompanied by tours, a recitation of a work commissioned for the occasion by the emerita poet laureate of Kansas, Wyatt Townley, and an opportunity to see a new work of public art by children’s book illustrator Stephen T. Johnson.

“This is a really striking and beautiful facility,” said Library Board chairwoman Nancy Hupp, “and we are eager to invite our patrons in so people can start using their new library right away.”

The new two-story Lenexa branch will be one of six library locations that are open on Sundays. It will replace services now provided at the Lackman Library at 15345 W. 87th St. Parkway in Lenexa. The branch staff will grow from 17 to 44, the library said.

Mission looks ahead on city buildings

The city of Mission wants to hire a consultant to help it decide how to address space needs over the next 20 to 30 years at City Hall and police headquarters.

It has issued a “request for qualifications” for consultants to help the city determine whether renovation, new construction, leased space — or some combination of those — is the best way forward for the municipal offices at 6090 Woodson St.

That building was constructed in the 1970s as a joint City Hall/police department. The space now dedicated to the police department was added in 1997, the city said in its request, and little has been done to the building since then. A new roof was installed in 2014, and new plaza/entrances and lighting were installed last year along Woodson.

Overland Park to build fleet maintenance center

Overland Park expects to start construction next month on a new fleet maintenance building at 123rd Street and Antioch Road.

The city said it maintains more than 550 vehicles from several different locations, but those operations will be consolidated into the new 35,000 square-foot structure that’s expected to be completed in mid-2020 at a cost of $12.4 million.

“The new building will provide greater capabilities for mechanics to work on any vehicle, including snow plows, police cars, and the city’s biggest fire trucks, all of which have sophisticated technology,” the city said in a news release. “This allows the city to better protect public investment in equipment.”

Lenexa likely to close Ad Astra pool

The city of Lenexa says the summer of 2019 is likely to be the last for its Ad Astra pool, which a consultant has recommended for closure. The city already is looking at other potential uses for the pool site.

The consultant said Ad Astra Pool, near 83rd Street and Maurer Road, is large and expensive to operate but suffers from a lack of amenities, poor attendance and the poorest condition and accessibility among the city’s outdoor pools. It’s also close to the Indian Trails pool, in a city park at 87th Street Parkway and Lackman Road.

Lenexa has hired Waters Edge Aquatic Design — the same firm that’s advising Roeland Park on its pool complex — to evaluate the outdoor pools in Lenexa.

“Overall, Lenexa’s aging outdoor pools — Ad Astra, Flat Rock Creek and Indian Trails Aquatic Center — are larger than average and expensive to operate,” the city said in a news release. “Several are in need of major structural improvements. They also lack modern features that attract enough attendance to operate without a significant subsidy. In addition, the pool facilities are concentrated in the eastern portion of city, and the most rapid population growth is happening to the west.”

Besides closing Ad Astra, the consulting firm also recommended:

▪ Maintaining Flat Rock Creek pool, at 103rd and Hauser streets, as is.

▪ Constructing a new water park that’s centrally located.

▪ Adding splash pads in one or more parks

The new water park and two splash parks are estimated to cost $16 million to $19 million.

The Lenexa City Council will consider those recommendations and others. If a plan is approved, the city then would have to determine how to pay for it.

State of County Address is March 26

Johnson County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert will present his 2019 State of County Address on March 26 at the Olathe Conference Center, 10401 S. Ridgeview Road.

The event, co-sponsored by the Johnson County Public Policy Council and hosted by the Leawood Chamber of Commerce, will begin with check-in at 11:30 a.m. The noon lunch will be followed by the program and Eilert’s address.

Individual tickets cost $35. Buy them by March 20 at or by calling the chamber 913-498-1514. They also can be obtained by contacting other local chamber offices.

Water project to affect SM Parkway

Drivers can expect some lane closures on Shawnee Mission Parkway as WaterOne replaces a main on the thoroughfare between Mission Road and Neosho Lane in Fairway.

The project will begin in March and last into May. The traffic impact will be during the work hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Legislative coffees in March

During the Kansas legislative session, the local League of Women Voters teams up with the Johnson County library system to host Saturday morning coffees where lawmakers can update residents on the issues. Two sessions have been scheduled in March:

▪ March 9: 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Gardner Library, 137 E. Shawnee St., with Sens. Molly Baumgardner and Julia Lynn and Reps.Bill Sutton and John Resman.

▪ March 30: 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Monticello Library with Reps. Cindy Neighbor, Owen Donohue and Tom Cox. That library is at 22435 W. 66th St. in Shawnee.

Women’s choral group to perform

Jubilee Singers, a women’s choral group directed by John Leavitt, will present a concert titled “The Glory of Spring” at 3:30 p.m. March 10 at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

The program will include psalms and hymns as well as popular and Broadway tunes. Also featured will be a new piano duet, “The Jade Dragon” by Jared Valle, winner of the 2018 UMKC Composition Competition.

Tickets cost $5 and are available at the door.

March 15 deadline to apply for Chinese immersion

Parents of next fall’s incoming Blue Valley kindergarten students have until March 15 to apply for the Chinese language immersion programs offered at Wolf Springs and Valley Park elementary schools.

Immersion students spend half the day learning in Chinese and the other half in English. The program begins in kindergarten, and families are asked to make a multi-year commitment.

The application can be completed at Students are chosen by lottery, and those who aren’t selected will attend the Spanish class offered in all elementary schools.

Awards given at King dinner

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy and Scholarship Awards Committee honored several people this year at its annual awards dinner. Those recognized included:

▪ Kansas State Sen.David Haley of Kansas City, Kan., who received the Legacy Award. A lawyer, Haley has has represented the 4th Senate District since 2001, and was a state representative before that.

▪ Raytown Mayor Mike McDonough, who received the Hero of Diversity award.

▪ Hector Silva, chairman of the Olathe Human Relations Commission,recognized as Diversity Advocate in Community Involvement.

▪ Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree Sr., who received the Diversity Advocate in Law Enforcement award.