A new name to honor a near-40-year legacy

Lee’s Summit Parks & Recreation announces it will rename the Legacy Park Community Center after former Parks Administrator Tom Lovell

Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation announced last week the renaming of the Legacy Park Community Center (LPCC) to the J. Thomas Lovell Jr. Community Center at Legacy Park in honor of Tom Lovell, LSPR’s previous Administrator.

from LS Parks & Rec

Lovell served as Administrator of LSPR for 38 years (1979-2017). Under his leadership, LSPR grew from 12 staff members to 42 full-time employees, hundreds of part-time and seasonal employees, and an equal number of contractors.

LSPR’s open space inventory grew from 250 acres to more than 1,200 acres, and he helped develop 77 miles of trails, 30 neighborhood parks, three community centers, and a water park. During Lovell’s tenure, LSPR won the National Parks and Recreation Association’s National Gold Medal Award and became accredited in 2003 and reaccredited in 2008, and 2013.

“Tom Lovell was the driving force behind the successes and accomplishments of LSPR for 38 years,” Joe Snook, current LSPR Administrator, said. “I cannot think of a more appropriate way to honor his legacy than to name our flagship community center after Mr. Lovell.”

Legacy Park and LPCC came to fruition from the 3/8ths cent sales tax passed in 1998. The need for a community center was identified in the “Legacy For Tomorrow” strategic plan, and in 2003 LPCC opened for public use. The 58,000 square foot facility offers amenities including a natatorium, gymnasium with two full-sized courts, cardio and strength training area, two racquetball courts and much more.

“The renaming of the community center is a true tribute to Tom and creates a legacy honoring his contributions and vision for the betterment of Lee’s Summit for close to 40 years,” Tyler Morehead, LSPR’s Park Board President, said. “The Board could not think of a better acknowledgement than to rededicate the first community center that Tom worked so hard to bring to reality, in his name.”

“This is such a surprise and special honor to have this flagship facility renamed after me,” Lovell said. “LPCC has served the community and has substantiated the beliefs in the parks system to provide services, benefits to our health and generate revenue for Lee’s Summit. I am humbled and would like to thank all the people involved in the development of the facility and those renaming LPCC.”

LSPR will honor and dedicate the J. Thomas Lovell Jr. Community Center at Legacy Park later this summer.

J. Thomas Lovell Jr. Community Center at Legacy Park is located at 901 NE Bluestem Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. For additional information, visit lsparks.net