|JCPRD Now Operating Softball Facility|
The Johnson County Park and Recreation District officially took over operation and maintenance of the former Johnson County Girls Athletic Association Complex, 20200 Johnson Drive, at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13.
It was at that time that the nonprofit Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County closed on the bonds for the facility.
Later that day, a new sign went up in front of the complex stating that it is now the "Johnson County Girls Athletic Complex and Okun Field House Operated by The Johnson County Park and Recreation District."
“We’re not changing the name of it any further until we determine if we’re going to be there long-term,” explained JCPRD Superintendent of Recreation Sharon Williams.
Under a lease/management agreement with the Foundation, the District will pay only interest on the facility for up to two years while it seeks voter approval of permanent funding as part of the Master Action Plan 2020. If not approved by voters, the arrangement is "collapsible," meaning the District could walk away without obligation or penalty.
Youth Sports Specialist Doug Hite has been named the JCPRD’s Acting Supervisor at the complex. This will be in addition to his youth sports duties. Hite has been employed by the District for approximately 10 years. He holds a degree in Park and Recreation Administration from Empora State University. Hite started as a night supervisor at Tomahawk Sports Dome, worked as a Coordinator at the Roeland Park Sports Dome for about two years, and had served as Youth Sports Specialist for about five years before being tapped to serve as acting supervisor at the Johnson County Girls Athletic Complex ande Okun Field House.
Staff members from nearby Mid-America Sports Complex, which the JCPRD owns and operates, will also be assuming responsibilities at the girl's complex.
If things go as planned, the public won't notice a huge change at the facility.
“Hopefully the biggest change will be the presence of our staff and more effective and efficient operations," Williams said. "We want to offer a seamless change as far as the ability of the public to access the facilities and for the children who are going to be playing there."
"We're drawing on what they've done (under the JCGSA) and making those programs stronger, such as basketball and volleyball," added Hite. "We want to make sure that top quality programs are offered in a top-notch quality facility."