Architectural plans have been finalized for the expansion of the Kansas Health Foundation complex, which will be formally named Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas Health Foundation Conference Center. It will be a new three-story building in what is now the Foundation parking lot on the corner of Douglas and Topeka.
The facility will serve as the new statewide headquarters for the Kansas Leadership Center, an organization launched by the Foundation in 2005. The Center fosters civic leadership with the goal to create stronger, healthier communities.
To strengthen the work of the Center, as well as the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of all Kansans, the building is designed specifically to bring together Kansans for multiple purposes. The new facilities, which will be approximately 36,000 square feet, will feature flexible meeting space for the purpose of hosting conferences, large group meetings, small gatherings, lectures and leadership trainings.
“We believe these designs allow for the most effective use of meeting space and will provide a unique gathering place to enhance civic leadership development in our state,” said Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. “Sharing this space with the Kansas Leadership Center will be of great benefit to both organizations and should allow both of us to more effectively serve the needs of Kansans.”
In addition to offices and smaller meeting rooms, major features of the building include a “town hall” type meeting space for 200 people and two classrooms with capacity for 50 people per room. Lobby areas in the building are designed to facilitate both small group gatherings, as well as providing open areas for additional meeting space or presentations.
A courtyard will be positioned between the offices of the Foundation and the Center, which will allow visitors to access the main entrances of either organization.
“Our goal was to create, in essence, a living room for the state, a place where Kansans can gather, challenge each other and learn together,” said Ed O’Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center. “We are thrilled with the design and can imagine Kansans convening there for generations to come.”
The Kansas Leadership Center expects to bring approximately 1,000 Kansans a year to its headquarters for leadership training programs and additional people for meeting and conferences, including alumni meetings. It has more than 1,500 alumni throughout Kansas.
Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the building this summer, with estimated time of completion being one year. The cost to build the facility will be approximately $8.6 million.