View All Posts

Oct 28

City’s renovations will improve accessibility, lighting, and aesthetics

Posted on October 28, 2022 at 11:08 AM by Becky Burnside

By David Markham

JCPRD programs at the Roeland Park Community Center are being relocated between November and May to make way for improvements at the center being made by the city of Roeland Park.

“We’ve already rescheduled November through December programming, and when I’m working on January through April programming (which will be available online after Nov. 18), we’ll be looking at different sites,” said 50 Plus Coordinator Lisa Eagle. “And then we’ll reopen for summer camps at Roeland Park (Community Center), and then in the fall, we’ll bring back the 50 Plus special events (to RPCC).” 

“The building is owned by the city of Roeland Park, but the day-to-day operations of the facility are managed by JCPRD,” explained 50 Plus Centers Specialist Libby Scarborough. “As such, we don’t serve in a decision-making role for the updates which will be occurring at the community center. That said, (JCPRD) staff did sit on the original Community Center Planning Ad-hoc Committee in 2019 and have provided support and guidance in all conversations leading up to the finalization of plans for the redesign.”

Planned renovations will include: ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility improvements in restrooms; renovations to corridors, flooring, wall coverings, and lighting in select rooms; moving HVAC condensing units to the roof, and updating the building’s exterior. 

“We are particularly excited for some big improvements to what is currently known as Room 6 within the center,” Scarborough added. “In addition to receiving interior updates, this space will feature an outdoor space when this phase of construction is complete. Program participants and renters alike will love the indoor/outdoor flexibility of the space!”

Staff will continue to office at Roeland Park Community Center during the redesign. Fitness patrons will still have access to the fitness facility, and the Early Childhood Development Center will remain open. All other programming will be relocated. 

Several area locations are being tapped to temporarily host JCPRD’s RPCC programs while the center is closed, with an emphasis on keeping weekly programs as near to the center as possible. 

“Our programs will be relocating the best that we can,” Eagle said. “Mainly, Meadowbrook Park & Clubhouse (in Prairie Village) will be where a lot of bigger special events will be going. Mill Creek Activity Center (in Shawnee) is going to host a few of our programs. Our drop-in groups such as our knitting group, hobby group, drop-in mah jongg, yoga, Tai Chi, and all of our weekly programs are going to move to the Roeland Park City Hall.  For our special events, a lot of the people who come also go to programs at Meadowbrook Park and Matt Ross Community Center (in Overland Park) and they’re familiar with those locations.”

Another phase of improvements which would address the community center’s offices, fitness facilities, and the preschool space, is anticipated but has yet to be finalized.

While renovations will cause some inconvenience for patrons, officials said they are looking forward to hosting programs in the improved facility. 

“Over time, this building hasn’t had much work done to it,” Eagle said. “So when you see it every day, you may not notice, but when people come in for the first time with fresh eyes, I think it looks very dated. After the improvements, it will look refreshed but still have that nostalgic school look to it and keep that community-based aspect to this building. It will look amazing with new lighting and flooring and paint colors.”

“This building has long been a fixture of this community,” Scarborough added. “First, as Skyline Elementary, and since 1984 as a community center. We are thrilled to see these much-anticipated updates coming to life and can’t wait to welcome program patrons back mid-2023.”

Skyline Elementary School operated at the site from 1953 to 1982.  Additional information about the renovation plans can be found at roelandpark.net.