wants to do aquatic
project with KC
by Kim Ficket
A $2 million offering from Platte County to the City
of Kansas City for a proposed Northland aquatics center
may be the stepping stone in a $6.5 million project.
The center, which would be built at the northwest corner
of Tiffany Springs Road and North Congress Avenue, would
encompass an 13,000-square-foot leisure pool with water
slides, water playground, current channel and zero-depth
beach entry, as well as an eight-lane, 25-yard competitive
According to Platte County Parks and Rec Director Brian
Nowotny, the county recognized a potential partnership
between the two entities after seeing the results of an
aquatics survey completed by the City of Kansas City.
"The survey done by Kansas City and for the City
of Kansas City, took a look at the needs north and south
of the river regarding multiple aquatics facilities across
the metropolitan area," said Nowotny. "The survey
determined that the Tiffany Springs area would be one
of the top rated sites in the Northland for an aquatics
The survey, which was conducted in the winter of 2001
by Bucher-Willis-Ratcliff Corporation of Kansas City,
Mo, studied 10 existing municipal pools and the feasibility
of the development of new aquatics facilities. From that
survey it was determined that Platte County, along with
Jackson County, would be the two prime locations in the
Kansas City metro area for an aquatics complex.
The proposed facility would be located on property the
city acquired in a land swap that Kansas City voters approved
in 1999. Under terms of the agreement, the city is leasing
the property to the Southern Platte County Athletic Association,
who's trying to raise private money to build baseball,
softball and soccer fields, as well as a gymnasium.
The SPCAA would vacate a portion of the 73-acre tract
for the aquatics center.
"This would be a real crown jewel for recreation
in the Northland with SPCAA's plans to build ballfields
and soccer fields," stated Nowotny.
The money offered by the county will come from a half-cent
parks sales tax approved by Platte County voters in 2000.
"This project would be what we have told voters
that the sales tax would be leveraged and that the county
would seek out meaningful partnerships that do that. And
we think this project would be doing that," said
According to Presiding County Commissioner Betty Knight,
this project is one way the county sees as a great opportunity
to maintain quality of life for the citizens of Platte
"As commissioners we want to try and build the quality
of life for Platte County residents, where people enjoy
where they live and we believe this falls into that,"
The survey also revealed that in the initial year the
facility would break even in the operations estimates
to pay for the upkeep and staffing of the facility. Nowotny
stated that the county's only contribution to the facility
would be the $2 million, with the City of Kansas City
responsible for the operations of the complex.
"I believe the potential for this complex is tremendous,
but the ball is in Kansas City's court right now,"
stated Nowotny. "The county's offer has been made
but they need to respond in a positive way to make it