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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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Johnson County Square Project

Johnson County Square location

Construction is underway on Johnson County’s new courthouse at the corner of Kansas Avenue and Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe. When the new courthouse opens in January 2021, the old courthouse will be demolished, creating a new space known as Johnson County Square.

The public weighed in on the preferred concept for the new Johnson County Square in Olathe. Attendees of an open house on Feb. 4 got the first chance to see the preferred concept and provide feedback. Others were able to review the concept and provide feedback on the element(s) that are most important to include in the first phase of the project, in addition to paving and pedestrian lighting. The survey closed on Feb. 29 and the results will be posted here when they are available.

Before narrowing it down to the preferred concept, the county gathered feedback from the public and a steering committee and developed the following three improvement concepts for the square.

Design concept one Design concept two Design concept three
Johnson County Square design concept one

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Johnson County Square design concept two

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Johnson County Square design concept three

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Design concept one includes the following proposed amenities:

  • Art garden
  • Ice skate plaza
  • Multi-use structure
  • Water feature
  • Children's play area

Design concept two includes the following proposed amenities:

  • Gathering space
  • Tree bosque with seating
  • Children's play area
  • Multi-use structure
  • Outdoor classroom

Design concept three includes the following proposed amenities:

  • Gather/seating plaza space
  • Multi-use structure
  • Splash pad
  • Dog park
  • Children's play area


Kick-off Concepts Refinement Approval

September 2019

  • Steering committee meeting to gather programming ideas
  • Opinion survey

October 2019

  • Steering committee meeting to brainstorm initial concepts

November 2019

  • Public meeting to gather feedback on refined concepts and programming (Download the posters. - PDF)

Winter 2020

  • Steering committee meeting to discuss preferred concept and programming
  • Public meeting(s)
  • Board of County Commissioners presentation

Residents holding signs with ideas for the new county square written on themPop-up Meetings

As part of the kick-off phase of this project, three pop-up meetings were held in September and October to gather feedback from the public on the project:

  • September 6 and 7, 2019 at Old Settlers Day
  • September 28, 2019 at the Overland Park Fall Festival
  • October 5, 2019 at the Olathe Community Center

Programming ideas were gathered at the Old Settlers Day pop-up meeting, which were later grouped into eight themes. Those themes were then voted upon at the Overland Park Fall Festival and Olathe Community Center pop-up meetings.

A total of 259 people voted for the following theme preferences:

  • Regional Attraction: 224
  • Gathering & Eating: 194 
  • Family Activities: 190 
  • Passive Recreation: 156 
  • Active recreation: 150 
  • Art, History & Storytelling: 86 
  • Event Planning & Wayfinding: 68 
  • Other: 5

Public Survey

An online opinion survey was available from September 30 to October 15, 2019 to gather further feedback from the public on concept theme preference.

Johnson County Square survey question one results

Steering Committee

As part of the planning process, a steering committee was formed for the Johnson County Square project. The committee provides feedback and guidance in addition to the public input. Two steering committee meetings have been held so far, with another planned by winter 2020.

Steering committee members include:

  • Joe Waters (Johnson County)
  • Danni Livingston (Johnson County)
  • Rhonda Pollard (Johnson County)
  • Susan Sherman (City of Olathe)
  • Nikki Johnston McDonald (1st District Appointee)
  • Nazyrah Rogers (2nd District Appointee)
  • Jeff Stewart (3rd District Appointee)
  • Tawn Nugent (4th District Appointee)
  • Ryan Nelson (5th District Appointee)
  • Jay Lang (6th District Appointee)
  • Robert Brogden (Chairman Appointee)

Steering committee member providing place markers on a map

The steering committee also helped the design-build team brainstorm potential programming concepts.

The concepts build on previous planning efforts, such as the Envision Olathe Downtown Plan (2018), Streetscape Master Plan and Downtown Design Guidelines (2003), Downtown Active Transportation Plan, Olathe’s Bike Share Implementation Strategy (2018), and more.

The outcome will be a phased approach to programming the Johnson County Square.

For more information about the new Johnson County Square, email Dan Wehmueller, Johnson County project manager. You may also follow the county and the city of Olathe on social media and use the #JoCoSquare hashtag.


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