Welcome to Overland Park, KS

Overland Park is located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of Interstate 435 and U.S. Route 69 immediately east of Olathe, the county seat. The city center is roughly 13 miles south-southwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.37 square miles of which 74.84 square miles is land and 0.53 square mile is water. Most of Overland Park, specifically the part of it lying north of 159th Street, lies within the area of Johnson County referred to as Shawnee Mission.

As a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, Overland Park is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, and it borders other communities on all sides. These include Kansas City, Kansas, to the north, Mission and Prairie Village to the northeast, Leawood to the east, Stilwell to the south, Olathe and Lenexa to the west, and Shawnee and Merriam to the northwest.

The city lies on the northern edge of the Osage Plains a few miles south of the Kansas River. One of the river’s tributaries, Turkey Creek, flows northeast through the extreme northern part of the city. South of Turkey Creek, the majority of the city lies in the watershed of the Blue River. Several of the river’s tributaries run east-northeast across the city; from north to south, these include Indian Creek, Tomahawk Creek, and Negro Creek. In the far southern part of the city, two more tributaries, Coffee Creek and Wolf Creek, join to form the main stem of the Blue River itself.

In 1905, Overland Park’s founder, William B. Strang Jr. arrived and began to plot subdivisions along an old military roadway, which later became the city’s principal thoroughfare. He developed large portions of what would later become downtown Overland Park.

On May 20, 1960, Overland Park was officially incorporated as a “city of first class”, with a population of 28,085. Less than thirty years later, the population had nearly quadrupled to 111,790 in 1990, increasing to 173,250 as of the 2010 census. Overland Park officially became the second largest city in the state, following Wichita, Kansas, after passing Kansas City, Kansas in the early 2000s.

Population growth in the city can mainly be attributed to the traditional greenfield suburban development, appreciated on the city’s annexation map. Overland Park’s last annexation attempt, in 2008, garnered widespread news coverage after massive outcry from affected residents. Overland Park now has a combined land area of 75.37 square miles (195.21 km2) and spans nearly the full North-South length of Johnson County. Since the expansion of Overland Park, state legislators have amended laws governing annexations to require a majority vote of affected residents in all future annexations over 40 acres (0.16 km2).

Overland Park is located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of Interstate 435 and U.S. Route 69 immediately east of Olathe, the county seat. The city center is roughly 13 miles (21 km) south-southwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

The city lies on the northern edge of the Osage Plains a few miles south of the Kansas River. One of the river’s tributaries, Turkey Creek, flows northeast through the extreme northern part of the city. South of Turkey Creek, the majority of the city lies in the watershed of the Blue River. Several of the river’s tributaries run east-northeast across the city; from north to south, these include Indian Creek, Tomahawk Creek, and Negro Creek. In the far southern part of the city, two more tributaries, Coffee Creek and Wolf Creek, join to form the main stem of the Blue River itself.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.37 square miles (195.21 km2) of which 74.84 square miles (193.83 km2) is land and 0.53 square mile (1.38 km2) is water.

Overland Park is a principal city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, and it borders other communities on all sides. These include Kansas City, Kansas, to the north, Mission and Prairie Village to the northeast, Leawood to the east, Stilwell to the south, Olathe and Lenexa to the west, and Shawnee and Merriam to the northwest. Most of Overland Park, specifically the part of it lying north of 159th Street, lies within the area of Johnson County referred to as Shawnee Mission.

The service sector constitutes most of the local economy. Health care, retail trade, professional and technical services, finance and insurance, and information technology are the city’s five largest industries. Companies with headquarters in the city include Yellow Corporation, Black & Veatch, Ash Grove Cement Company, and Compass Minerals. The city seeks to attract technology companies in particular, such as Netsmart Technologies which relocated its headquarters there in 2011. Restaurant chain Applebee’s was headquartered in the city from 1993 to 2007. It is also home to the Overland Park Xchange building, the 3rd largest office building in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area totalling 735,000 square feet of office space.

As of 2014, 71.8% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. 0.1% was in the armed forces, and 71.7% was in the civilian labor force with 68.1% being employed and 3.7% unemployed. The composition, by occupation, of the employed civilian labor force was: 53.0% in management, business, science, and arts; 26.2% in sales and office occupations; 11.3% in service occupations; 4.0% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance; 5.5% in production, transportation, and material moving. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: educational services, health care, and social assistance (22.5%); professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services (17.4%); and retail trade (10.7%). T-Mobile (former Sprint headquarters) is the largest employer in the city followed by Shawnee Mission School District, Johnson County Community College, Blue Valley School District, Black & Veatch, OptumRx, the City of Overland Park, Yellow Corporation, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, and Waddell & Reed.

The cost of living in Overland Park is below average; compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost of living index for the city is 88.2. As of 2014, the median home value in the city was $225,000, the median selected monthly owner cost was $1,712 for housing units with a mortgage and $570 for those without, and the median gross rent was $974.

It was home to the Sprint Corporation before its merger with T-Mobile in 2020. Part of its former corporate campus was sold in 2019 to a firm named Occidental Management. Telephone company Embarq formerly had its national headquarters in Overland Park before its acquisition by CenturyTel in 2009, and still employs several hundred people in Gardner.

Primary and secondary education

Overland Park spans four public school districts. The portion of the city north of Interstate 435 lies within the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD). SMSD, which is headquartered in Overland Park, operates thirty eight elementary schools, two middle schools, six high schools, and multiple support facilities in the city. Most of the city south of I-435 lies within the Blue Valley School District. Blue Valley, also based in Overland Park, operates 20 elementary schools, nine middle schools, five high schools, and one alternative high school in the city. A portion of western Overland Park lies within the Olathe Public Schools district which operates two elementary schools in the city. The extreme southwestern part of Overland Park lies within the Spring Hill School District.

There are more than 12 private and parochial schools in Overland Park. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas oversees five Catholic schools in the city including four elementary schools and St. Thomas Aquinas High School. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod oversees two schools, Bethany Lutheran School (Grades K–8) and Christ Lutheran School (K–8). The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod oversees a third Lutheran school, Mount Olive Lutheran School (K–8). Other Christian schools in the city are Kansas City Christian School’s Oxford Park Campus (PK–2) and Overland Christian Schools (PK–12). Overland Park also hosts one Jewish school, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (K–12). Non-religious private schools in the city include Accelerated Schools of Overland Park (4–12) and two Montessori schools.

Kansas City Japanese School Inc. (カンザスシティ日本語補習授業校 Kanzasu Shiti Nihongo Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a Japanese weekend educational program, is held at the Kansas Christian College in Overland Park. First established 1979, it was formally approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho) and officially established in 1984.

K–12 schools:

  • Blue Valley School District
  • Shawnee Mission School District
  • Olathe Public Schools
  • Spring Hill Schools
  • St. Thomas Aquinas High School
  • Ascension Catholic School
  • Bethany Lutheran
  • John Paul the Second
  • Oxford Campus Kansas City Christian
  • Overland Christian
  • Mt. Olive
  • Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
  • Holy Spirit
  • Holy Cross
  • Christ Lutheran
  • Horizon Academy

Colleges and universities:

  • Cleveland University-Kansas City (formerly Cleveland Chiropractic College)
  • Ottawa University – adult campus
  • University of Kansas Edwards Campus
  • Johnson County Community College
  • Baker University – satellite campus
  • Emporia State University – satellite campus
  • Kansas Christian College
  • Rasmussen College

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs is based in Overland Park; its competitive peer, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, is based in neighboring Lenexa.

Libraries
The Johnson County Library serves the entire county with 14 locations, three of which are in Overland Park (Blue Valley, Central Resource, and Oak Park).

Overland Park has more than 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) of park land and open space. The city’s 72 parks offer public golf, sand volleyball, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, and reservable shelters.

The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is 300 acres (120 ha). The Oak Park Mall is one of the area’s top shopping locations with nearly 200 stores.

The Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center houses the Johnson County Museum, KidScape, resident theatre company Theatre in the Park, a fine arts program, an emerging arts program, and the Overland Park Historical Society.

The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is a 12-acre (49,000 m2) farm with animals, hay rides, a fishing pond, an early 1900s school house, and a children’s gold mining camp.

The Overland Park Golf Division operates two public golf courses: St. Andrews Golf Club and the Sykes Lady Golf Club. These courses host more than 130,000 rounds of golf a year.

Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex was named the top soccer facility in the nation by Livability because it is considered the only complex of its kind in the United States. It covers 96 acres (39 ha) and offers 12 lighted, regulation size synthetic, turf fields with a cooling system to control turf temperature on hot days.

The city is also home to Overland Park Convention Center.

In 2015, Topgolf driving range and entertainment complex opened in Overland Park. It offers a driving range, bar, and restaurant complex, and employs more than 450 people.

Historic Downtown Overland Park contains a farmers’ market, the clocktower plaza and a statue of Overland Park City founder William B. Strang Jr. It also hosts the Strang Carriage House and is home to the Overland Park Historical Society.

The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is on the campus of Johnson County Community College.

The city has numerous public art works installed under the Public Art Program.

There are two community centers in the city: Matt Ross Community Center and Tomahawk Ridge Community Center.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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