Community concerned over possible closure of Clapp Golf Course

Local

The future of a major Wichita golf course is in limbo.

This comes after city staff recommended earlier this week that L.W. Clapp Golf Course be closed.

Today, dozens of people voiced their thoughts and concerns about the city possibly closing down the 105-year old golf course.

“The green space functions as an anchor for our community and it has functioned as an anchor for our community my whole life,” said Kara Courtney, who lives near the golf course.

Several people pleaded with Wichita City Councilman James Clendenin and City Manager Robert Layton to either keep the course open or find a way for the neighborhood to hold on to the green space.

Others, like resident Michael Loop offered up some alternatives.

“I’d like it to be our central park of Wichita, just do whatever we can to keep it beautiful, keep it accessible, and hopefully be the highlight of the city,” said Loop.

The course sits in Clendenin’s district.

He says he understands the business decision behind possibly closing Clapp Golf Course.

The course has lost 600-thousand dollars since 2012 and Clendenin says they have continued to struggle financially over the past year.

Despite the financial struggles, Clendenin says today’s meeting shows the community has a real interest in the future of the course.

“Everybody is very concerned about a declining area and taking this asset away from the area will hurt it,” said Clendenin.

In the end, residents like Loop, stressed what they hope happens to the course.

“My hope is we figure out a way to save Clapp, my second hope is we turn the green space into something really worth while for the city,” said Loop.

Clendenin says the next step in the process would be for the park board to meet and discuss the issue.

The board had scheduled a special meeting at 4 p.m. on Friday, but that meeting ended up being postponed.

Troy Houtman, Director of Parks and Recreation, told KSN “The Park Board President wanted all the board members present and if the meeting was held today 2 or 3 members would not be present.

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