Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation leaders are hoping to get the Longview Community Center open before the end of the year. They are completing a $1.6 million facelift after purchasing the facility from Metropolitan Community College in June.
The project came out of the 2016 sales tax initiative, which included new community center facilities on the west and south sides of Lee’s Summit.
Parks and Recreation Director Joe Snook says the timing worked out well to purchase the older facility and bring it up to current standards, giving residents a huge upgrade to what they had been promised with those sales tax dollars.
“We said we would build two more community centers at $5 million apiece. They would be smaller and fitness-focused, about 20,000 square feet. When Longview popped up, it was 60,000 square feet. So, with the same investment we are able to have something much bigger than what we anticipated,” Snook said.
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The price on the building, which was built in 1989, was $4.1 million. The Parks and Recreation department is putting $1.6 million into renovating the facility.
“Inside, it felt like 1989. It just needed a huge facelift, general cleaning and maintenance,” Snook said — a lot of what he calls cosmetic and preventative maintenance.
They have repainted the entire interior; pulled up old carpeting; caulked and cleaned the pool; extended rubber flooring in the fitness center; stripped, refinished and repainted the gym floor; and installed new fitness equipment and furniture.
This is the first time Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation has taken over a facility in this way. Building a community center of that size from the ground up would have cost about $15 million.
The project will offer a facility comparable in amenities to the current Legacy Park Community Center. There are some differences. For instance, the pool at the Longview center is more of a competition lap pool than what is available at Legacy.
The community center membership structure has changed to allow any members access to all facilities – including fitness classes.
“It’s a huge benefit back to our members. Legacy and Longview are similar, but they do have some differences. It gives people flexibility and gives them something different,” Snook said.
The Longview Community Center project was the first of the major projects slated for completion under the ¼ cent sales tax. Summit Park off 50 Highway and Howard Park by Lakewood are both scheduled for renovations to be completed by summer 2019. Summit Waves is scheduled for the addition of a wave pool in the summer of 2020.
“We like to think we’re giving great value in what we give back to the community through that ¼ cent sales tax,” Snook said.