Improvements to the Clayton L. Moses Memorial Bandshell area of Jack Kilby Square were discussed at the April 18. City Council meeting. Monday night, those changes took a step closer to becoming a reality.
The council approved the architectural agreement with PBA Architects of Wichita for the project at a cost of $63,697.
“This is one we’ve been talking about for over a year,” City Administrator Howard Partington said. “This is a good project.”
The proposals include including improvements to the bandshell and the addition of a splash pad for children.
In all, this amounts to about a $600-650,000 project, Partington said. Of that, the trustees of the Thelma Faye Harms Charitable Trust have pledged at least $200,000 and the city has about $400,000 saved for the work.
Partington said the architects will keep city officials updated as their work progresses. They hope to have construction start in September and be completed by next spring.
Proposals for the bandshell on the south end of the square – include extending the stage out about seven feet, the addition of handicapped-accessible ramps on the east side and new steps on the west side, a driveway to allow for easier unloading and loading, improved drainage and inset fans to help circulate air on stage, and the filling in of the existing water fountain feature.
The bandshell dates back to the 1920s and it has been a while since the area was revamped. “We plan to be respectful of the bandshell,” Partington said, adding the original structure will not be altered.
Upgrades to the electrical system may be made as well.
The original vision called for the installation of shade structures. These were part of the original $5 million master plan, but turned out to be too costly.
The splash pad
At the north end of the bandshell plaza there would be a splash pad which would consist of a few water spray features. This is important to the Harms trustees, Partington said, adding it could be a major draw for the downtown.
Activated by a step pad, the features would not run constantly and would be turned off when the park closes in the evening. The sprays use between seven and 35 gallons of water per minute, which would not be recirculated (an option that would almost double the cost of the pad).
However, the pad would require the moving of the vintage cannon mounted in the area. Partington said he has visited with local historians and veterans groups about relocating it, possibly to the north side of the square.
There is also a time capsule buried in a burial vault. These would have to be moved as well.