Johnson County Superintendent Proposes Plan For New Buffalo Community Center

Feb 27, 2019

Layout for Jim Wagner's proposed community center in Buffalo.
Credit Legacy Building Solutions

The superintendent for Johnson County School District is proposing a plan for a new multi-purpose community center in Buffalo.

Jim Wagner said he saw a need for one after witnessing many of the current centers in the area needing updates.

"It appeared to me, based on what we have here and what's in the state, that there's a need for something that can allow residents to utilize and maintain a quality of life that isn't necessarily weather-related," Wagner said.

Wagner said he received a lot of feedback from residents that there needs to be more opportunities for senior citizens in the area who may struggle with mobility during the winter months.

He envisions a place for every member of the community and for the facility to become a place that attracts events from all over the state.

"I'm looking at the idea that it's big enough that we could host a business expo," Wagner said. "We could host a major conference in the area and obviously hold a number of different athletic events as well. But at the same time, could just be for community gathering."

Wagner's proposal for the 210,000 square feet facility includes running tracks, basketball courts, a pool and an indoor turf field that could be used for soccer and six-man football.

Overall, the project could cost up to $25 million, Wagner said. He factored in an extra $5 million to the estimate to ensure there would be additional funds for any issues that could arise during construction.

"The big thing really right now is raising the money and figure out what it's going to take to raise the money and if there's enough support to allow that to happen," Wagner said.

Wagner said he has already raised around $1 million. Now, he's meeting with groups from around the area and state to see if there are grant and funding opportunities as well as interest. But he said the project is mostly dependent on securing enough funds.