The Wichita City Park and Recreation Department hopes to obtain a building permit for the $13.7 million expansion of the existing recreation center in McAdams Park. With that approval, construction of the center could get under way by the end of this year.
Planners told the District 1 Advisory Board during their June meeting that construction will take 12 to 18 months and the center should be ready to open at the end of 2024 or early 2025.
At $13.7 million, the estimated price is over the $10-million in funding approved for the project three years ago and the city will have to figure out how to come up with the extra funds.
The new Brewer Center is named in honor of Carl Brewer, who served as Wichita’s first popularly elected African American Mayor, from 2007 to 2015. He died in June 2020.
The project includes “refreshing” of the existing rec center built in the 1950s plus the addition of an attached 24,000 sq. ft addition to the south of the existing building and additional parking.
Planned renovations to the existing center include a new roof, new heating and air conditioning and renovation of the existing bathrooms.
The new center will have a new main entry and lobby. From this area, visitors can turn left to access the old building or right to enter the new building.
The new building will include a meeting room to accommodate about 45 people, a large dining hall that can accommodate about 150 people or can be divided into two spaces.
It will have outdoor patio space, a commercial kitchen that will provide the opportunity to offer culinary arts classes, and a multi-purpose fitness classroom. .
A major feature of the new building will be the gymnasium, that will include a walking trail around it, a full basketball court, two smaller courts and six pickleball courts. There will be telescoping bleachers on both sides of the main court as well as lockers and shower rooms.
A lounge space at the end of the gym will allow observers space to view the on court activities.
Park and Rec leaders say they hope to host both basketball and volleyball tournaments at the new facility. Overall, the completed center is expected to offer three times the existing programming.
McAdams Park is located at 1329 E. 13th St. North. It is home to the League 42 non-profit baseball league. McAdams Park is named after the park’s former director Emerson McAdams. In addition to the Brewer Center, at the park, the Goose Doughty Tennis Courts, the McAfee Swimming Pool, the Andre Carr basketball courts and the Barry Sanders football field, are all named in honor of African-American Wichita standouts.