Prairie Village targets June for Harmon Park upgrades

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Upgrades to a Prairie Village park are targeted for a June completion.

The Prairie Village City Council last week unanimously approved a change order with Combes Construction for $1 million to build out a new restroom and renovate the shelter at Harmon Park.

This is part of the city’s years-long plan to update the shelter and restroom at the park off of West 77th Place and Delmar Street.

City staff anticipates both projects to be completed by June

  • City Engineer Melissa Prenger told the city council on Feb. 5 that the goal is to have the restroom and shelter finished by the time Johnson County Parks and Recreation District’s day care starts in June.
  • Prenger said the current restroom will remain in place throughout construction.
  • If the new restroom is unfinished before day care starts, Prenger said, then JCPRD can still meet state requirements and use the park’s current restroom.

Work is already underway on the inclusive playground

  • Prenger said the contractor, Combes, is already at Harmon Park constructing the all-inclusive play area.
  • Combes was the lowest bidder on two previous restroom projects for the city as well as on the Harmon Park playset, Prenger said.
  • The architects working on the Harmon Park improvements reviewed Combes’ estimated cost for the Harmon Park updates.
  • Prenger said the city feels “really comfortable with the numbers they gave us” and that Combes gave the city all it needed to ensure “it was a good, competitive bid.”
  • The Harmon Park restroom will include one men’s, one women’s and one family restroom.
The current restroom and pavilion at Harmon Park. File photo.

Councilmembers disagree on change order decision

  • Councilmember Lori Sharp said she is concerned that the city is opting against putting the Harmon Park upgrades out for public bid, adding that “it just doesn’t feel really transparent” to not allow others to be part of the bidding process.
  • Councilmember Greg Shelton said he appreciates Sharp’s comments but disagrees with her concern about a lack of transparency.
  • Shelton, who is a strategy and marketing leader in Black & Veatch’s energy and process industries according to his LinkedIn profile, said “this is really standard operating procedure” in the engineering procurement construction industry.
  • “Harmon Park is a hub of activity in the warm weather months for our city,” Shelton said. “There is a timing component here that we need to be cognizant of, as well, when it comes to making sure that this gets done in a fashion that doesn’t create a lot of disruption for our residents.”

Go deeper: Prairie Village moving ahead with $1M Harmon Park shelter renovation

Editor’s note: Prairie Village Councilmember Greg Shelton is married to the sister of Post Publisher Jay Senter.

About the author

Juliana Garcia
Juliana Garcia

👋 Hi! I’m Juliana Garcia, and I cover Prairie Village and northeast Johnson County for the Johnson County Post.

I grew up in Roeland Park and graduated from Shawnee Mission North before going on to the University of Kansas, where I wrote for the University Daily Kansan and earned my bachelor’s degree in  journalism. Prior to joining the Post in 2019, I worked as an intern at the Kansas City Business Journal.