Shawnee Planning Commissioners continue to scramble to fill their chairs as, this week, board member Susie Clinard announced she's moving out of state. The board has been struggling to keep a full house since losing Dells Kerbs (replaced by Craig Walker), Regina Morton (whose seat remains empty) and Michael Affentranger (who was just replaced in June by Tom Rowell).

Shawnee Planning Commissioners continue to scramble to fill their chairs as, this week, board member Susie Clinard announced she's moving out of state. The board has been struggling to keep a full house since losing Dells Kerbs (replaced by Craig Walker), Regina Morton (whose seat remains empty) and Michael Affentranger (who was just replaced in June by Tom Rowell).

Now Clinard's spot may be vacated immediately, as she expects to move to South Carolina within the month.

Otherwise, the commission has proceeded with business, as usual.

Planning Director Justin DeBruin reported the city's wayfinding signage should begin this month.

“We are looking at park signs for those five or six major parks that we just completed the Parks Plan on, as well as three primary locations for major gateway signs — at Kickapoo, Harrison and at MacArthur and 177,” he said.

DeBruin updated board members on the latest progress of the Avedis trails project — a 14-mile sidewalk system to be constructed over five years.

“We are still in Phase One, which is really moving along very quickly,” he said.

DeBruin said the full scope is from Harrison to Bryan Street on Main on both sides of the road up to Boy Scout Park, and then on the north side of the road it will complete out to Bryan.

They've done half of that so far, he said; they've made that connection from Harrison to Boy Scout Park on both sides of the road, from there they went over to Jefferson School on the south side and went from Kickapoo to Broadway on both sides of Wallace.

The next and last part of Phase Three is going from Boy Scout Park on Center up Independence and back to Sequoyah School — it's a bit of a longer stretch for that piece there, he said.

“They are currently almost to Independence from Boy Scout Park, so finishing up the center portion … when they are completed with that, they will go back to Main Street and finish that last gap between Boy Scout Park and Bryan,” he said.

DeBruin said the city is looking at continuing the contract with the same contractors since they are doing so well with the first phase.

“We'll start getting those plans going for the next year,” he said.

During his report, DeBruin updated commissioners on current projects around town.

The Joe Cooper auto mall is wrapping up work inside its second building, which will house the Ford dealership; DeBruin said an opening near the end of September is planned.

He said the Shawnee Middle School Avedis Park project is close to being finished.

“They are adding handicap access to the amphitheater, and hope to be done by the time classes begin Aug. 17,” he said.

The tennis courts are complete, he added.

Five other school projects in the district are underway, he said, mentioning the high school parking lot — which is promised to be ready in time for classes — as well as new entryways and safe rooms at various sites.

Also moving along are Harbor Freight, Schlotzsky's and Bison Crossing — all on Kickapoo between Penny Street and Interstate 40.

Domino Plaza, at Harrison and 45th Street, shows a concrete pad has been poured at the site of the coming Domino Express fuel station.

Downtown, the 12,500-square-foot new Pottawatomie County Museum construction has been framed, walls are partially in place and roofing is underway.

In the works for close to a year now, Shawnee Park Apartments — a three-building complex near I-40 and Harrison — has been navigating toward a solution to a sewer and sanitation challenge that would work for them, DeBruin said. The complex is made up of 68 residential units.

Planning Commissioner Walker, noting all the recent construction along Kickapoo, voiced concern about several large vacant (or soon to be vacant) structures along Harrison Street.

“With the Joe Cooper dealerships, Kmart building and the former Cazadorez site all about to be empty, should we be worried (about Harrison)?” he said.

DeBruin seemed unfazed. With Domino Plaza in the works and a business — which remains unnamed for now — making plans at the intersection of MacArthur and Harrison, he said there's no cause for alarm.