Major capital projects
…a new state-of-the-art home for Johnson County criminal justice
Johnson County kicked off 2021 with a virtual celebration for the new Johnson County Courthouse. Construction on the new courthouse began on July 12, 2018, to replace the nearby aging, smaller and outdated facility that operated from 1952 until closing at the end of December. The new facility, with 28 courtrooms and designed to add future courtrooms as needed, is expected to serve the county's justice system for 75 years.
…collaborating on a new space for county residents to gather
When the county brought down the former Johnson County Courthouse, crews spent the next several months taking down the old courthouse piece by piece. This left a green space dedicated as the Johnson County Square on Dec. 9, 2021. An 11-person steering committee made up of community members helped shape the use of the space, using public input that came from pop-up meetings, open houses, a focus group and two online surveys. Today, the space features a curved, lighted walkway, six picnic tables and a 33-tree grove donated by the county's rotaries. The Johnson County Square represents the best-in-class partnerships, community participation, common interests and shared vision by many involved in the project.
…investing in a more efficient way to treat wastewater
By the end of 2021, substantial progress had been made on the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment facility in Leawood. This is currently the county's largest capital project ever, and all signs point to its completion on time and on budget in 2022. Expansion began in 2018, and the ﬁrst release of treated water occurred in September of 2021. Beneﬁts of the project include renewed infrastructure investment
for roughly 150,000 residents, enhanced water quality in Indian Creek and reduced long-term costs to rate payers. One evaluation performed prior to construction showed that construction of the full-scale facility will cost $785 million less over the next 35 years when compared to building a smaller facility and diverting a portion of ﬂow for treatment by others.
…continuously improving our already best-in-class library and park systems
Continuous improvement is the ongoing theme for Johnson County Library and Johnson County Park and Recreation District. Whether it is building new facilities or updating current ones, work on both organizations' multi-year master plans ensures that Johnson County residents can enjoy constantly-improving amenities that already earn high satisfaction marks in our annual community surveys.
Crews spent the better part of 2021 renovating Central Resource Library in Overland Park. Improvements include additional and refreshed meeting rooms, an expanded, relocated Kids area, a new drive-thru for patron returns and holds pick-up and improved spaces for materials handling, which will help books and other items move more quickly through the entire library system. Also at the Library, planning got underway in 2021 to replace the Antioch Library with a new branch on the new Merriam Community Center campus. Public input sessions occurred in spring and summer 2021, and design is underway this year, with groundbreaking anticipated to begin in late 2022/early 2023.
In April 2021, the county celebrated The John Barkley Plaza at Shawnee Mission Park. The new memorial plaza, dedicated to a World War I Medal of Honor recipient and the park system's ﬁrst superintendent, features seat walls, a shade pavilion, a bike-share rack and a bike repair station.
Throughout the year, improvements were made at Mid-America Sports Complex, Ernie Miller Park and Roeland Park Community Center.
At the end of 2021, work was complete on Cedar Niles Park in west Olathe. The property totals 1,030 acres and contains many natural assets, including streams, dramatic topography and diverse plant life. Cedar Niles Park offers 4 miles of multi-use paved trails as well as 4.5 miles of single-track trails for mountain biking and hiking.