City approves mural plans one year later
The Shawnee City Council Monday approved final plans that will allow the much-delayed installation of the mural in Pioneer Crossing Park to proceed.
The council discussed construction drawings for the mural installation, which was delayed when the mural's creator, Brickstone Studios of Norfolk, Va., was not sure how to hang the mural's panels on the support wall the city had constructed. Staurion Corporation, an engineer hired by Brickstone, created plans for the installation, and the city's engineers have approved of the plans.
Bert Schnettgoecke, city project engineer, said to support the heavy mural panels, the contractor would use horizontal and vertical ribs made from a material that will bind to the wall and to the panels. The city's engineer, HNTB, concurred that the method would be structurally sufficient.
The park is on the south side of Shawnee Mission Parkway at the eastern edge of the city. The three-dimensional mural will depict a train of covered wagons crossing the prairie. Designed by local artist Charles Goslin, it will include two lead bronze oxen and a bronze statue of a pioneer woman walking alongside the wagons.
The mural will include three levels of 8-foot by 5-foot panels made of a concrete and fiberglass composite, each already 250 pounds. The panels will increase in weight once they are reinforced with another inch of the composite.
Council member Dan Pflumm asked why the engineers did not plan to completely fill the area between the panels and the support wall with concrete, saying this might better protect the panels from future damage.
Schnettgoecke explained that this would make the installation more difficult and would add too much weight to the mural, and other Council members agreed. Pflumm argued that filling the panels still seemed like the best idea, but Council member Neal Sawyer said that if HNTB had certified the design, it should be good enough.
"Aren't we sitting up here trying to become an engineering firm?" Sawyer said. "We have to believe that they know what they're doing, and if we don't, then we sure hire them a lot."
Council member Dawn Kuhn agreed, adding that sending the matter back to the engineers would only further delay the project.
"I don't want to spend another six months negotiating whether we're going to fill it in and then pay more to do it," she said.
The design was approved 7-1, with Pflumm voting in opposition. The Council approved a budget of $173,000 for the mural in January of last year, expecting it to be created out of brick.
The city expected the mural to be delivered by September last year, but it was continually delayed until it finally arrived in February. The city then discovered Brickstone had created the mural out of the concrete composite panels, colored like the limestone used elsewhere in the park.
The city made a few changes to the support wall it had built, but city officials wanted to see a better plan to ensure a safe and permanent installation. So Brickstone's engineers and city engineers have been discussing the process for the last several months. Earlier this month Neil Holman, director of parks and recreation, said Brickstone should be in Shawnee to begin installation Sept. 11.
In other business, the Council:
- Approved a resolution of support for the Walking School Bus Program.
- Approved revisions to Deffenbaugh's special-use permit and changes in the requirements for construction of Holliday Drive.
- Approved 7-0-1 final plans for drainage improvements in the Pflumm Woods and Woodland Place subdivisions. Council member Cheryl Scott abstained from the vote.
- Heard Mayor Jeff Meyers recognize the Sesquicentennial Committee with certificates of appreciation, and declared Aug. 28 Donna Sawyer Day in the City of Shawnee to recognize the committee's chair.
- Approved a license for the sale of cereal malt beverages in the downtown pedestrian district for the Wheels & Dreams Car and Bike Show Sept. 10.
- Approved a request to grant the Johnson County Unified Wastewater District a sanitary sewer easement and a temporary construction easement on city parkland to serve Eagle View of Grey Oaks.
- Approved a proposal for construction testing services related to the 51st Street improvement project.
- Awarded a bid for a lease-purchase of a Jet Vac/Rodder truck to Key Equipment, Kansas City, Kan., for $246,200.
- Awarded a bid purchase of a Skid Steer Loader, Planer and sweeper box attachments to KC Bobcat, Olathe, for $35,598.
- Approved a final plat for one lot in Little Fall Estate, 20628 W. 75th St.
- Approved a final plat for 11 lots in Parkway Commons in the 6300 block of Monrovia.
- Approved 7-1 final plats for three lots for the Reserve at Belle Meade Farms in the 23600 block of W. 51st St. and at 23812 W. 51st St. Council member Kevin Straub voted in opposition.
- Approved a revised special-use permit previously issued to Deffenbaugh Industries for landfilling operations in the 4900 to 5600 blocks of Locust.
- Approved semi-monthly claims for $1,841,959.43.
- Conducted an executive session to receive attorney-client privileged communication.