For years, Grain Valley officials have discussed and planned for a new municipal complex on the former Sni-A-Bar Farm on the city’s south side to accommodate currently overcrowded facilities. And for several months now, they’ve given residents a chance to check out possible design plans.
In the April 7 election, the city will ask residents to approve more than $38 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the project; the bonds would not increase city taxes. Officials said construction would take about 16 to 18 months and city personnel would move into new facilities in 2022.
Voters will be asked two questions: one for $23.5 million in bonds to pay for the new buildings, and another for $15.35 million for the infrastructure. Voters would need to approve the bond issues by a fourth-sevenths majority – about 57 percent – for them to pass.
“For the whole thing to go forward, both will have to pass,” interim City Administrator Ken Murphy said this week.
When the current city hall and police building was built in 2001, Grain Valley’s population was about 5,000. Two years ago, the estimated population topped 14,200.
“it wasn’t built to accommodate the growth this city’s had, interim Deputy City Administrator Teresa Osenbaugh said. “Our workspace is just full.”
The planned municipal complex would have a new city hall and municipal court, new police station, new recreation center with indoor pool and a new parks and recreation building. Mid-Continent Public Library has committed to building a new library branch on the campus at its own cost.
The chosen layout, as preferred by citizens at community meetings, drive and parking areas in a zig-zag fashion, with the library on the opposite side of everything else.
The recreation center and possible future outdoor swimming pool are just west of the current house site. An amphitheater could be added in the future, and the northeast corner of the property would be used for future ball fields, but those are not in the bond request.
All told, early designs show the community center would be about 45,000 square feet and civic offices would be about 31,000 square feet. Currently, they’re about 10,000 and 16,000, respectively.
The current main house structure is mostly non-original and has become too dilapidated to renovate, Murphy said. Instead, that area would be used for a playground and splash pad. There will be something on site to tell the farm’s story, he added.
If the bonds pass, Osenbaugh, the city is ready to finish design plans. After city departments make the move to a new campus, the city would look to sell the land, and Osenbaugh said they estimate it would fetch into the high six figures, if not $1 million. The city is continuing discussions with the YMCA about a partnership for the community center, she said, as well as with the school district about a possible cold-water pool indoors.