A $1 million gift from Midwest Health will help expand and sustain Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s new aquatic center slated for construction at 21st and Urish. Butch Eaton and Jim Klausman, founders of Midwest Health, presented a check to the Board of County Commissioners at its Nov. 9th meeting. The money will go into the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation as an endowment to sustain the aquatic center into the future as a first class facility. Midwest Health operates senior living communities including independent and assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing and memory care.
“Midwest Health is family owned and has been a part of the Shawnee County community for nearly 40 years,” Klausman said. “As this new aquatic center will serve thousands of families in the coming years, we are excited to contribute to bringing this level of facility to our community.”
The facility will be named the Midwest Health Aquatic Center and will feature numerous water slides, a zip line, a rock climbing wall, kids play structures, a lily pad crossing and a bowtie wave pool which is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Completion of the aquatic center is slated for sometime around Memorial Day 2016.
County Commissioner Bob Archer, in whose district the aquatic center will reside, said, “We appreciate and commend Midwest Health for stepping forward with this outstanding contribution to a facility that will be enjoyed by Shawnee Countians and which will bring in visitors from outside of our community for years to come.”
“We want to build amenities that will help keep young families and professionals in our community,” explained John Knight, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation director. “There are times when this can’t be done with tax dollars alone. This type of public/private partnership makes it possible to bring to Shawnee County facilities that are above and beyond what other communities may have to offer.”
According to Knight, the Midwest Health gift will go into an endowment from which accumulated proceeds will be used to add features to the aquatic center as well as to provide continued maintenance of the center.