As the city waits for more information on the West Lawrence Sports Village project, work has already begun on a contingency plan.
On Tuesday, city commissioners will gather for the weekly meeting expected to discuss several land use issues realted to the multi-million dollar facility. However, the item is likely to be defferred yet again.
"I've said we wouldn't visit the rezoning question before we had a project in hand, one that we thought was a viable product that the citizens wanted," said Bob Schumm, Lawrence mayor. "We're really waiting on our donation agreement and then our construction agreement to be finalized. "
While comissioners wait, Schumm says city staff is doing its due diligence by looking at other sites to house a city owned rec center and University of Kansas athletic fields.
"We have looked at a second site which is immediately east of K-10, right out in the 6th street and k-10 region, and ... the city owns 37 acres near the west Walmart site," Schumm said.
The Walmart site was the first to be discussed when the idea of a new west Lawrence rec center was floated, however the city turned it's eyes further west when the donation of 50 acres of land entered the picture.
Schumm says the current site at the corner of Sixth Street and K-10 is the city's number one choice, but the 87 acres of land to the northeast would be an adequate plan B and still allow for a public private partnership between the city and K-U, which the Walmart site does not provide.
The mayor says the city gets more bang for it's buck by building at the currently planned location.
"While it costs more for infrastructure improvements on the west site, the land there is being given to us," he said. "On the east side it's a little bit cheaper infrastructure-wise but we have to buy the land."
We'll be at Tuesday's city commission meeting and keep you posted on the progress of this project.