Government & Politics

Fairway chooses architect for renovation of future city hall

SFS Architecture/Phillco Construction will renovate the former Churchill retail store at 5240 Belinder Road.
SFS Architecture/Phillco Construction will renovate the former Churchill retail store at 5240 Belinder Road. Photo provided

The City of Fairway has taken three big steps toward moving into its new home.

The Fairway City Council on Monday approved an architect, a builder and a funding source for the renovation of the former Churchill retail store at 5240 Belinder Road, which the city bought March 9.

At a work session preceding Monday’s regular meeting, council members heard presentations from two architect/contractor teams selected as finalists for the renovation of the future City Hall, which could cost $1.4 million.

Council members were split 3-3 between the teams of SFS Architecture/Phillco Construction and Kevin Cowan Architects/Combes Construction. Councilman Michael Staley was absent, and the eighth seat on the council was unfilled.

Mayor Jerry Wiley broke the tie in favor of SFS/Phillco, citing Phillco’s work on renovations to the Fairway Pool in 2015.

After choosing an architect and contractor for the project, the city approved $2.3 million in general obligation temporary notes to finance it. Fairway’s sale of its former public works building and its share of sales tax revenue from a countywide sales tax to pay for construction of the new Johnson County courthouse will help fund the renovations, Wiley said.

Fairway hopes its new City Hall will be finished by the end of the year, when its lease at its current home in Fairway Office Park expires.

Fairway’s city administrator, Nathan Nogelmeier, said that with the exception of some possible HVAC issues, the Churchill building — which sits just north of Rainy Day Books and south of the Fairway Police Department — is in excellent shape.

“According to the inspections, the building as of today is pretty sound,” he said.

Several improvements were made to it by the previous owner, Wiley added.

The 8,000-square-foot two-story building, once renovated, will house City Hall, office space for staff, a community room and extensive storage space, Wiley said.

The council on Monday also chose Adam Dolski, a seven-year resident of Fairway, to fill the Ward 4 council seat vacated when former councilman JD Fair moved to Ward 2. Fair has filed to run for a seat in Ward 2 in November.

The council unanimously chose Dolski over James Thompson. Council members Melanie Hepperly and Tanya Keys chaired a committee that narrowed an initial field of five down to Dolski and Thompson. Dolski will be sworn at the council’s May meeting.

“It was the first time we’ve had such an interest,” said Wiley of the open council spot.

Dolski, a manager and project manager for Kansas City-based PwC, said one of his top priorities will be to preserve the character of the city in an era of residential tear-downs and rebuilds in Northeast Johnson County.

Dolski also said he wants to help ensure Fairway has a variety of housing options to attract different demographics.