Client Spotlight

Detention Basin at the New Century AirCenter in Gardner, KS


New Century AirCenter (NCAC) dates back to World War II when the land was sold to the Navy for construction of the Olathe Naval Air Station in 1941. The Navy used the base as headquarters for the Naval Air Transport Service for flight training of Naval Air Cadets and as a Naval Air Technical Training Facility. It was also a stop over and re-fueling point for naval planes transporting officers. In 1973, the Johnson County Airport Commission acquired the land and renamed the facility, Johnson County Industrial Airport. In 1995, the airport was again renamed to what it is known as today, New Century AirCenter. With the prominent location along I-35, the NCAC is ideal for many businesses. According to the NCAC, it has a billion-dollar annual economic impact on the Kansas City metro area.

Today the AirCenter sits on 2,500 acres and lying in an ideal location, development has been steady. As other metropolitan communities have dealt with increased stormwater runoff so too has NCAC. Because of past flooding at NCAC, GBA was retained to rehabilitate an existing temporary detention basin that was in series with two other downstream basins. The two downstream basins were landlocked such that expansion was not feasible. The very upstream basin did not meet current stormwater criteria (APWA 5600) with the existing development in the watershed. Therefore, it was anticipated as additional businesses and or industries wanted to build and/or expand the temporary basin would have to be expanded into a regional basin. In order to meet stormwater criteria, the three basins were analyzed in sequence utilizing the Marais Des Cygnes Watershed hydrologic models completed by GBA for Johnson County Stormwater Program. GBA Project Manager, Les Barnt, P.E., noted the challenge NCAC put forward to GBA was to minimize the footprint of the regional facility, provide aesthetics and maintain developable property while meeting the stormwater criteria. Because of prior agreements that NCAC had with existing tenants in the regional basin watershed a wet basin was a need as well.

The temporary basin had a footprint of 2.0 acres and with limited drop from each basin outfall the expansion resulted in an 8.8 acre footprint. The additional size of the basin was a result of accommodating flood storage above the normal pool elevation. Two sediment forebays were constructed at inflow points and vegetated mounds for excess material were constructed along the southern boundary with the new Johnson County Parks & Recreation Indoor Sports Facility to give some relief to the existing flat terrain.

Since the design of the regional basin design, NCAC has taken a proactive approach to asset management of their stormwater system, stormwater pollution prevention planning (SWPPP) for compliance with EPA Industrial stormwater controls and regional detention planning for other watershed basins in the 2,500-acre park.


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