On this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, KC Parks celebrates an amazing transformation of the park named after the slain civil rights leader. The 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is helping transform Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park, located at 1900 Swope Parkway, by building an all-inclusive destination play site that will provide a safe place for kids to play, celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and learn about the Civil Rights history of Kansas City.
You can join this effort by securing a personalized Legacy Brick to be placed at the 15 and the Mahomies Playground. This customized brick will leave a lasting display of your support of 15 and the Mahomies’ efforts to improve the lives of children in Greater Kansas City. Bricks are available in five styles. Each brick can be inscribed with your personal message and are scheduled to be installed in the summer of 2021. Marques Fitch, the Executive Director of 15 and Mahomies Foundations says, “The 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is excited about helping transform Martin Luther King Jr. Park by providing Civil Rights education and a unique, safe place for children of all abilities to play.” If you are interested in the Brick program, register here: 15 and the Mahomies Playground at Kansas City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park Purchasing and inscriptions for the Bricks will begin in mid-February.
The Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners has awarded Gunter Construction the design build contract for the education play site at Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park. The $1,000,000 dollar contract includes community engagement, conceptual design, developing construction documents, performing all work, and acquiring all materials for construction of the playground. Preliminary plans have begun with a groundbreaking planned for March 2021 and a completion date of Fall 2021.
Community support for this destination play site is growing, J.E. Dunn Construction has committed to build a full shelter at Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park at no cost as one of their Community Impact Projects. If any other businesses or organizations would like to contribute a major investment to MLK Park, please contact KC Parks Communications and Development Manager, Leslie Alford at Leslie.Alford@KCMO.org.
KC Parks has created a Community Design Team that represents a diverse group of community leaders that will provide input and engage residents to help design the play site. Members include:
- Chris Goode-KC Parks Board of Commissioners
- Dr. Vernon Howard-Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City
- Michael Toombs-Artist/Founder/Director of Storytellers Inc.
- Wesley Hamilton-Executive Director of Disabled But Not Really Foundation
- Carrie Coogan-Deputy Director, KC Public Library
- Donald Rankins-MLK Restoration
- Lauren Bell-MLK Restoration
- Dr. Delia Gillis-Professor African and African Studies UCM
- Duron Netsell-Owner Street Smarts Design + Build
There will be a Community Engagement Session in early February to get resident input on certain aspects of the playground. That information will be updated at Involvement in Community Engagement – KC Parks and Rec.
Funding for this contract is provided through the cooperative funding agreement with the 15 & The Mahomies Foundation, Gunter Construction Company’s utilization goals of 20.4% MBE and 55.38% WBE were submitted and approved by HRD and will be met by the end of the project.
About 15 and the Mahomies Foundation
The 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children through initiatives that focus on education, health, wellness, underserved communities, and other charitable causes. It was established by NFL MVP, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes in 2019.