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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Junction City Recreation Complex

Junction City receives KAN STEP award to expand youth skating facility

Junction City has been awarded a $392,700 grant by the Kansas Department of Commerce to help the city remodel and expand an existing youth skating facility.

The grant is provided through the Department's Kansas Small Towns Environment Program (KAN STEP), and will supplement a $263,211 contribution from Junction City. The total cost of the project is $655,911.

In addition to a renovation of the facility, the KAN STEP funds will allow the city to build a 6,600 square-foot extension, which will include a three-on-three basketball court, a multimedia lab for community meetings, a recording studio, dance floor, and private party rooms.

KAN STEP is a self-help program that enables small communities to make major infrastructure improvements. Local residents volunteer labor or services - termed "sweat equity" - while the Department of Commerce provides funding for technical services and materials. The result is that small communities have an opportunity to invest in projects they otherwise could not afford.

A 2000 study revealed that 44% of the community's students are new or leave each year. Geary County's drug & alcohol arrests for youth aged 10 to 17 are 250% higher than the state average.

This project will renovate and expand an existing community recreation facility. This will include ADA compliance, upgrading surveillance and safety equipment and increasing the functionality for youth and their families. The 6,600 square-foot expansion will include a 'wired' conference/meeting room, recording studio, game room, dance floor, 2 private meeting/party rooms, a billiards area, 3-on-3 basketball court and a small movie theater.

There is a miniature golf facility adjacent to the rec center, which will receive some upgrades with private donations.

The goal is to provide a safe and stable place to recreate, while creating a healthier & more cohesive community.

Project Sparkplugs include Ben Kitchens, a local contractor; Stanley Pearson; Clarence Thomas (Parks & Rec Director for City). Other commitments have been made by Junction City High School (Shaun Moseman, Administrator for Science, Engineering & Technology Academy) and the Flint Hills Job Corps (Perry Shepherd who will focus on basic plumbing & finishing work).

The project architect is Deam & Deam, LLC, Junction City, KS. The Grant Administrator is Joni Hernly of Hernly Associates, Inc., Lawrence. Kansas Rural Water Association will provide inspection services and technical assistance.

Funding for KAN STEP initiatives is provided through the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

Junction City Recreation Complex