Author: Judy Hyde

Design development for R Park pavilion, restrooms

One of the design options for the pavilion planned to be built at R Park next year.

An article from the Shawnee Mission Post:

As design plans continue to develop for R Park, the Roeland Park city council this month heard updates on the $1 million phase one improvements during. City council approved a $1.7 million three-phased plan for the park in March, preceded by the approval of engineering and design work in February.

Phase one includes a shelter, two family restrooms with accessible parking and asphalt removal for additional green space. The following five alternative design options for the shelter were discussed:

·         Option one includes a fireplace

·         Option two includes a pergola with stone seating

·         Option three includes a grill and stone island

·         Option four includes a protruding southeast wing

·         Option five includes a performance stage

Councilmembers posed concerns about option one, such as whether or not a fireplace will be used and what visitors might burn. Councilmember Claudia McCormack asked if the fireplace was crucial to the design of the shelter, and the design team said it was not designed as a structural component.

Additionally, the shelter has been scaled back from its original intent to hold 40 to 60 people. The design team did not say how many people the current design could hold, but that the shelter has been designed to hold seven tables or six larger tables. The shelter would be situated to provide the maximum amount of shade.

Materials for the shelter include metal roofing, wood decking, wood timber trusses and joints, decorative structural metal panels, and steel beams and columns. Limestone will be used for the structure’s stonework and will follow a beige and brown palette. The restroom siding will be made of “Fiberon or an approved equal,” which the Parks Committee selected and requires low maintenance.

The exterior doors on the two family restrooms would not automatically lock due to concerns of people using the restrooms as a “holding place if they abduct somebody,” City Administrator Keith Moody said. Rather, the restrooms would have a lockable stall. Moody said the city will be able to secure the restrooms at night with a key. Between the restrooms would be access to a utility space for maintenance as well as storage space on the backside.

The current iteration of the design for the restroom building

“We wanted to bring you up to speed as we move into the next phase,” Moody said. “We’re going to be spending more time developing the details…so we’d rather make the changes at this point rather than down the road when we get ready to put this out for bid.”

Construction for phase one improvements for R Park, located at 5535 Juniper Drive, will cost $887,496 and is slated for 2020.

Small Shade Shelters Completed!

Two small picnic table shelters were completed in the summer of 2019.

See Red Run! Dedication Celebration

Jorge Blanco’s sculpture ‘See Red Run! was dedicated in R Park on June 29, 2019. City Council member Claudia McCormack began the Dedication and Arbor Day event with this presentation:

“I would like to welcome you all here today for a celebration of many amazing things happening in R Park! I am Claudia McCormack, Ward 3 City Council Member and a proud 10 year resident of Roeland Park.  

Thank you to the Community Engagement Committee for helping put this together! And to girl scout troop 1236, a group headed into 7th grade for helping with the kids activities.

I am privileged to be among you all today!

We come together this afternoon to feel like a community, to celebrate our space, our safety and our boundless potential as a cohesive group.

First, We are here to Dedicate and Celebrate our sophisticated and bold new art work “See Red Run” commissioned exclusively for Roeland Park by the very talented and industrious Arts Committee and fulfilled by the multi-faceted, esteemed and worldly artist Jorge Blanco. This fresh and bold public art piece demonstrates the commitment and dedication of our residents to bringing quality and beauty to this park and to the city.  

I would like to thank our incredibly resourceful and civically devoted Arts Committee for their steadfast dedication to serving our community by providing diverse Public Art for people of all ages to enjoy.  

We are very excited for all of the beautiful spaces, piece by piece,  in which the true nature of Roeland Park unfolds. 

In addition to our stunning new art, we are here to celebrate our belated and beloved Arbor Day.  With the addition of our recently planted array of trees, consistent with the Arboretum standard, we can spend the coming years watching them grow, change and bloom with the diversity of aesthetic that our public art inhabits.  

William Blake once wrote:“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.”

Today as we enjoy our neighbors, the view, fun music, warm sunshine and refreshing beverages let us stay here in this moment, every moment present, just as the trees stand. Free from judgement, released to sway with the winds and the storms, though always strong because of deep roots. We help grow our city by sinking our Roots into our community, our families and our spirituality. During these very uncertain times it is easy to become divided from issues both small and large. It seems as if, every day there is some new way to pull us farther apart as individuals. A new app, the familiar social network, the glowing screens slowly replacing eye contact.   This Park, these events, our people coming together is the cure for those disconnections.  

I am proud to be part of a City and a City Council committed to growing our relationships through welcoming, beautiful public spaces.

Thank you all for coming to this special event and sharing with us your time, your support and your love.”

Sculpture ‘See Red Run!’ installed

Jorge Blanco’s sculpture See Red Run! was installed in May 2019.

Shade shelters in progress!

Construction is progressing on the small picnic table shelters in R Park!

Small shelters progressing!

Posts for picnic table shelters are up! Roofs will be on soon! The large pavilion is planned for 2020.

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