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County budget $11 million for southern center

$6 million set for Platte City site

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

The two community centers to be built in Platte County are well on their way to going from dream to reality.

Monday night, architects from Warner, Nease and Bost unveiled conceptual drawings of the community centers expected to be built in Platte City and Parkville. Both centers will be operated by YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

On hand to view the sketches were representatives of the YMCA, Platte County Commissioners and members of the Community Center Steering Committee.

According to 2nd District Commissioner Steve Wegner the sketches, although conceptual, are similar to the outcome of the buildings.

"We haven't heard anything that would have altered the design significantly," Wegner said.

Wegner added the community center in Platte City should be open the second quarter of the year 2004. The location for the center in Platte City is on Running Horse Road.

Land negotiations are still being made for property in Parkville, so it is undetermined when that facility will be open.

It is expected the community center will be located near 9 Highway, near Parkville Commons, a shopping plaza recently constructed.

Market studies conducted helped developers decide what would best meet the needs of community center members.

The study showed that a 55,000 square foot facility would best meet the needs of southern Platte County residents and a 27,000 square foot facility would best suit Platte City.

"The market study told us the population of the Platte City area is not strong enough to support itself," Wegner said.

The Parkville site will be two stories, house a three-lane pool, a three-lane walking track, gym, a generational/teen center, senior center, all purpose room, outdoor playground, sauna, basketball court, volleyball court and several other amenities.

Platte City's community center will have a two lane pool, an indoor sports complex and a wellness center, among several other features. The center will also have the capabilities for expansion.

Original cost expectations for the projects were at $14 million. However, after county commissioners worked with architects at Warner, Nease and Boost it was decided the project should be increased to $17 million.

It is expected $11 million will be spent on the Parkville project and $6 million on the Platte City site.

Both facilities will have brick and precast architecture and concrete facades.

Concerns addressed over the centers included the lack of a regulation sized gym.

Committee member Rhonda Stamper voiced concerns as a parent that Platte City area youngsters didn't have room to practice basketball, and that a regulation-sized court would be beneficial to the facilities.

According to 1st District Commissioner Michael Short, original plans for a larger gym were made. Short added due to the market survey, it was found a smaller gym was sufficient.

The facilities will be total recreation centers, where a membership to one will allow use of both locations.