2017 Community Center Mail-In Ballot Initiative

Merriam voters have the opportunity to determine the future of recreation in our community on Sept. 15, 2017. Through a mail-in ballot, voters will decide if the City should issue $24 million in bonds to replace the current 100+ year-old Irene B. French Community Center (IBFCC) and 30+ year-old Merriam Aquatic Center (MAC) with a new $30 million community center and pool at Vavra Park, and approve a 10-year quarter-cent tax to help pay for the facility.

Studies show our current recreation facilities need an estimated $20 million worth of repairs and renovations to bring them up to modern standards.

Merriam is a city founded on parks and recreation, and we have a strong tradition of investing in our community’s future.

The new, 66,000 square foot community center would include amenities such as an indoor walking/jogging track, indoor/outdoor pools, a full-sized gym, and child watch among other features.

New Community Center Amenities

In 2016, we asked the community what recreation amenities they wanted and would be willing to pay for in Merriam, and we’ve incorporated the top items into the plan for the proposed 66,000 square foot community center. The new community center would be located at Vavra Park (near site of the existing pool).

Proposed Amenities
  • Indoor walking and jogging track
  • Fitness center and aerobics room
  • Indoor pool with lap lanes, leisure pool, and therapeutic water
  • Outdoor pool with spray pad, lap lanes, and leisure pool (lazy river, slides, etc.)
  • Full size gymnasium
  • Art gallery and senior lounge
  • Classrooms
  • Party room
  • Meeting and event space
  • Catering kitchen
  • Child watch
  • Free social gathering space with WiFi

Why Are We Voting on a New Community Center?

Studies show our current recreation facilities need an estimated $20 million worth of repairs and renovations to bring them up to modern standards. The City spent two years exploring this option. It sought input from the community on what types of recreation amenities they desire now and in the future. City staff and consultants determined construction and operating costs for repairing the facilities. After those two years, a resident-led steering committee recommended to the city council that a new, estimated $30 million community center be built. After careful consideration and input from our residents through public meetings and at city events, the city council determined that doing nothing is not an option and adopted a resolution to place the issue on the ballot for the community to decide.

Please Vote! Ballots Due Friday, Sept. 15 at Noon

The Johnson County Election Office will mail out ballots to all registered voters within Merriam city limits on Aug. 25, 2017. The Election Office must receive all ballots by noon on Sept. 15, 2017, to be counted in the official election results. Ballots can be mailed in the pre-paid envelope provided or dropped off at the Johnson County Election Office; 2101 E. Kansas City Road; Olathe, KS; 66061. The deadline to register to vote in this election is Friday, Aug. 25. Additional information about voting and filling out the ballot can be found at www.jocoelection.org.

Proposed Community Center at Vavra Park

vavra layout-web

Proposed Amenities

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The City has prepared this education site to provide you with information about this initiative and remind you to vote.