Olathe Parks and Recreation Department; Olathe, Kansas
The Olathe Parks and Recreation Department serves a population of over 130,000 and is one of the fastest growing suburbs in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Outdoor recreation offers include a variety of activities, including running, bicycling, fishing, boating, and team sports. Olathe has two public lakes: Olathe Lake (172 acres) and Cedar Lake (45 acres.) The City’s Parks and Recreation Department maintains year-round activities including music and dance, sports, health and fitness programs for all ages. Baseball diamonds, tennis courts and fitness trails are available throughout the city and there are four public outdoor swimming pools in Olathe, as well as a newly opened recreation center. Olathe’s quality of life invites an ever-increasing number of people to look at the community as a place to call home.
In order for the Parks and Recreation Department to continue to be viable, it needed a solid planning document to guide the City’s efforts, which was outlined in the Olathe Parks and Recreation Master Plan. In 2014, PROS Consulting completed the master plan, which took nine months to develop and involved all representative departments with an extensive and robust public input process. This was the third parks and recreation master plan PROS has completed with the City of Olathe. The master plan provided a framework to respond to citizens’ needs and expectations, as well as identified priorities for the staff to work toward successful implementation. The purpose of the Olathe Parks and Recreation Master Plan was to serve as a planning document to guide the City leaders and staff for the next 5 to 10 years. The results of which will aid the City with guidance toward where and how to deliver parks, recreation facilities, historic sites, and programs to meet public expectations and needs.
Also, PROS Consulting completed a Feasibility Study and Business Plan for the recently opened 82,000 square foot Community Recreation Center located in Stage Coach Park.
The Parks and Recreation Master Plan led to the renewal of a 1/8-cent sales tax to keep the system relevant, which was passed by 72% of the community. This led the completion of a system-wide trails plan, the development of an 82,000 community center (first one for the City), and the master planning of two regional lake parks. The recommendation to act on the Community Recreation Center in Stage Coach Park led to its design and construction and is currently operating at 100% cost recovery. The design led to an award of a 2015 Dream Designs by Aquatics International for Leisure pool/Family aquatics center.