WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting, the council voted to use American Rescue Plan Funds to renovate the McAdams Recreation Center.
When the renovation is complete, the council plans to rename the center after former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.
“We had talked to the family about doing something really big for the former mayor and whether they might be interested in that happening in the City of Wichita because he represented District 1,” Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson said.
Carl Brewer was the first officially elected black mayor in Wichita. He served as mayor from 2007 to 2015. He also spent six years as a member of the city council.
“What better person to honor than our former mayor with a new center in the district he represented?” Johnson said.
The new 25,000 square foot facility will be fully equipped with an industrial kitchen, a space for community building through a passion of Brewer’s.
“Mayor Brewer was known as a grill master,” Johnson said. “He loved to cook and many of the conversations we had before he passed were always about food and different techniques.”
The council delayed the vote on whether to rename the rec center to Sept. 21. They want more time to discuss the overall plan with the Brewer family and determine a way to honor Emerson McAdams, a former city police officer who served 27 years as director of McKinley Park. McKinley Park was renamed in 1966 to honor McAdams.
“We want to honor Officer McAdams and talk about who he was and his contributions and why that park was named after him,” Johnson said. “So what we will do with that renovation is really do justice to everybody named in the park.”