Instead, the $12 million complex will be built on the western side of Jefferson Barracks County Park, next to the ballfields near the Grant Shelter. The project still is on schedule with a groundbreaking ceremony for later this spring and the opening in 2014.
A geological survey showed there were unexpected sinkhole conditions at the original park site on the corner of Kingston Drive and South Broadway.
The sinkhole was located under the proposed location of the swimming pool, said Katy Jamboretz, vice president of marketing and communications with the St. Louis County Economic Council. St. Louis County is building the recreation complex.
The survey also raised questions about storm water runoff and possible conflicts with gas pipelines in the site.
“The sinkhole also was linked with other sinkholes,” Jamboretz said. “It became a question of what it would take to build it (at the original site). Then, the county looked at other sites. We're still in the park, which is county property. This is why we took the geological survey. We wanted to be sure the site was safe.”
The new location on the park's west side was one of the sites first considered. The center's design will not have to be changed and the budget will remain the same
Residents Protest Proposed Change
A letter To: Lou.Aboussie@mail.house.gov
Mr. Lou AboussieVeteran's Representative
Congressman Lacey Clay's Office
As a retired Navy Veteran and this years Camp Commander of "Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War" here in St. Louis, I'd like to express our feelings towards possible construction of a recreational complex in Jefferson Barracks Park. I
t is our understanding that the initial construction was planned for the area near the North entrance to the park at Kingston Road and South Broadway in Lemay. Rumor has it that because of sink holes on that site, making it not suitable for construction, the powers to be have decided to demolish the "Grant Shelter" inside the park and build there.
We would like you to pass our displeasure with this decision on to Congressman Clay in hopes that he might see and stop the desecration of this historic park with commercial enterprise. Once the private sector gets their foot in the door of this sacred ground it won't be long before their next project will be a golf course or some other development that will chip away at the historical integrity of this treasure trove of American military history.
There are other very suitable sites in the Lemay area such as the site of the old Lemay Bank, which is now already a park and parking lot or the site of the old Defense Mapping warehouse near the entrance to the River City Casino. These locations are begging for commercial activity and would add to the overall enhancement of businesses the area.
I don't recall any public hearings about the decision to demolish Grant Shelter and move the location of the RecPlex-Water Park to this area. I can assure you, now that this information is trickling out there will be an outcry from the Veterans and the public at large. We all still have a bad taste in our mouths because of the erection of a Walmart adjacent to the Jefferson Barracks national Cemetery. It is known that the money for this RecPlex project is coming from the Port Authority which comes from the revenue from the River City Casino. Once this information is realized by the public that the casino money has a direct impact on the destruction of our cherished historic Jefferson Barracks Park, the publicity could have a negative impact on the gaming industry.
The Grant Shelter is a relatively new building and has provided utility to many functions such as wedding receptions, military swap meets, military dances and numerous other functions that are congenial to the area.
There is no need to tear down this perfectly functional building and build a commercial monstrosity that will devastate the serenity of the park with traffic and parking lots and disrupt the beautiful surroundings of forest, foliage, and peaceful atmosphere that the park provides.
Please ask the honorable Congressman to take a hard look at this project from a Veteran's prospective. This park holds many memories for Veterans and their families, at one time the entire park was an official military installation and was the starting point for many on their way to war.
The area now known as Jefferson Barracks and the surrounding Park was established in 1826 and has served Soldiers and Sailors from the early Indian Wars through the Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and is still providing service for the Reserve units, some of which are presently serving in Afghanistan. The Veterans were called upon to serve their country, some to die for their country, now we are asking for some small consideration, to help us preserve this hollowed ground.
6929 Sharp Ave
St. Louis, MO. 63111