KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you’ve recently stepped foot inside the Kansas City Convention Center, you might have noticed some of the unsightly problems.
Matt Cunningham, assistant general manager of the convention center, said the carpet in the lobby is 15 years old.
“If they get frayed, spills we can’t get cleaned, they live there until we replace this carpet,” he said.
Aside from the carpets, the facility’s bathrooms are also due for an upgrade. They haven’t been renovated in over 30 years and are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The convention center and Kansas City Music Hall are also due for a major technology and network upgrade.
Inside the Music Hall, part of the ceiling is even flaking off because of water damage from a bathroom.
“Fortunately, so far we haven’t had a lot of people turn away because of the condition of the convention center, but I think we are on the cusp of that,” Cunningham said.
That’s why Mayor Quinton Lucas said it’s his priority to make sure both facilities are in tip-top shape.
“I think you’ll see the need for improvements, both here at Municipal Auditorium, the Music Hall, but also throughout the city,” Lucas said. “And that’s why we have those bond questions.”
Kansas City’s Question 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot would allocate $45 million in bonds toward renovating the Kansas City Convention Center and Music Hall.
It would also allocate $80 million to the Parks and Recreation Department for its maintenance projects like reopening pools, improving community centers and more.
“This is a no-tax-increase bond election, and so there is no particular impact on anyone who is paying their tax bill,” Lucas said.
“Instead, this is the sort of thing where we actually saw that we have the opportunity on our city balance sheets to bring up this important issue so that we could address deferred maintenance.”
It’s one of three Kansas City ballot measures voters will see this November.
Another question would ask voters if Kansas City should issue up to $50 million in bonds toward the Housing Trust Fund, creating affordable housing in neighborhoods in need.
This $50 million would be Kansas City’s largest investment in affordable housing ever made, according to the city.
Finally, Kansas City residents will vote if the city should remove two tracts of land in the Northland from the parks system to realign property for the proposed Tiffany Springs Parkway.
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