City of Lawrence

City Manager’s Office



David Corliss, City Manager


Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager


Kevyn Gero, Management Intern


November 6, 2014


Recreation Center Comparison



In October 2014, the City of Lawrence opened its new facility, Sports Pavilion Lawrence, a 181,000 square foot multi-purpose recreational center. Recently, another comparable recreation project in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, the Olathe Community Center, opened in July of 2014. This memo outlines the two recreation facilities by comparing construction costs, user fees and services.


Images of the two recreational facilities are included as an attachment


Recreation Center Comparison

The memo summarizes comparisons between Sports Pavilion Lawrence and the Olathe Community Center. It should be noted both facilities are directly adjacent to additional recreational development but for the purpose of this comparison only the physical facility will be used for analysis.


Overall, user fees at Sports Pavilion Lawrence are significantly lower than user fees at Olathe Community Center. The construction costs of Sports Pavilion Lawrence, $10.5 million, are lower in comparison to the approximately $20 million the City of Olathe spent on construction of the Community Center. Sports Pavilion Lawrence is more than twice the square feet of the Olathe Community Center. Both facilities deliver traditional recreational services, though each of the facilities offers distinct amenities and programs that serve special purposes. Eight regulation size basketball courts at Sports Pavilion Lawrence allow the City the capacity to host various sports tournaments, camps, league games and practices by serving the community’s needs for an indoor sports complex. Large event rental spaces and the Natatorium at the Olathe Community Center provide a unique public space for leisure and entertainment needs.


User Fees

City Staff compared residents and non-residents user fees from daily to annual passes. Largely, the rates for Sports Pavilion Lawrence are significantly lower than rates for Olathe Community Center. A substantial portion of this disparity is attributed to the difference in cost of residential rates. While Olathe residents receive a lower rate that non-residents at the community center, the City of Lawrence does not charge City residents for use at community and recreation centers. The City does charge residents and non-residents admission at the indoor and outdoor aquatics centers.


Sports Pavilion Lawrence

Olathe Community Center

Daily Rates









10 Visit Punch Pass

































Rental Space/per hour

Party rooms - $30.00-$35.00               Full Court Basketball - $50.00        Cross Court Basketball/Volleyball - $30                                                        Turf Field - Full Field $135       Turf Half Field - $75                 Turf 1/3 Field - $45

Party Rooms $100.00- 130.00

Community Rooms $30.00- 80.00


Construction Costs

These recreational projects required significant capital investment, construction and infrastructure costs from the City of Lawrence. It should be noted both projects share infrastructure with additional outdoor recreational development projects. Lawrence Sports Pavilion is located at Rock Chalk Park which contains University of Kansas Athletic facilities. Stage Coach Park was constructed as additional outdoor recreation component next to the Olathe Community Center. Taking into account only building construction costs and excluding adjacent recreational development and infrastructure improvements, Sports Pavilion Lawrence cost $10.5 million and Olathe’s Community Center cost approximately $20 million.


The total cost for the Community Center and Stagecoach Development Park is $28.5 million. The project was funded by the Park Sales Tax, GO Bonds and cash. 


The Olathe Community Center cost an estimated $224.01 more per square foot.


Sports Pavilion Lawrence

Olathe Community Center

Recreation/Community Center Construction



Cost per square Foot




Facility Amenities and Services

Many of the traditional recreation services are offered at both facilities such as indoor track, basketball courts, and fitness and cardio areas. The City employs a similar amount of full-time and part-time staff positions at each facility. The differences between the two centers can be attributed to the special amenities and the intended use of each facility.


The facility is also designed to accommodate large-tournaments with 8 regulation size basketball courts, concessions and viewing gallery. Sports Pavilion Lawrence is more than double the square footage of Olathe Community Center. This disparity can largely be contributed to the eight basketball courts and indoor soccer field. The eight basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts at Sports Pavilion offer an ideal recreational space for sports events and tournaments.


The Olathe Community Center offers special amenities for leisure and entertainment purposes. The Community rooms at the Olathe Community Center provide space for large groups to hold meetings and other events. The Community Center also contains numerous pieces of public art throughout the building. The Natatorium is an aquatics center that includes a leisure pool, lazy river, lap lines and water slides. There is also a notable difference in the finishes in the buildings, with the Olathe center having more high-end finishes- carpeting, fireplace, catering, and kitchen in order to accommodate functions such as wedding receptions.


Sports Pavilion Lawrence

Olathe Community Center

Square Feet



Basketball Court/s (Regulation Size)



Volleyball Court/s



Indoor Track

1/8 Mile

1/10 Mile

Aerobic/Fitness Area/s



Cardio/Weights Area/s



Administration Offices and Support Areas (Number and Size)

9 offices/support areas (4 offices 10x13 & 1 office 20x24 holds 5 programmers)

4 offices and 4 cubicle spaces with break room

Party/Meeting Rooms (Number and Size)

2 Party Rooms

2 Party rooms/23 per room;

3 Community Rooms/64 per room

Full-time Staff Positions



Seasonal/Part-Time Staff Positions



Special Amenities

Gymnastics Area; Indoor Soccer; Future Wellness Area (7,000 square feet)

Natatorium; Childcare; Olathe Library Kiosk; 2 Studios/Classrooms