Ground Broken On ‘Block 1’ Downtown
A ground breaking event was held Wednesday to build new headquarters for the Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas Health Foundation Conference center in downtown Wichita.
The 3-story building will feature a 200-seat town hall meeting space, offices and classrooms and an unfinished 3rd floor for future expansion.
KLC’s Ed O’Malley says the building is designed as a flexible, functional space that contributes to developing more engaged leaders in healthier communities.
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer who is credited with nicknaming the new center the “Living room of Kansas” considers the effort another milestone.
“We expect that the leadership center will bring about a thousand Kansans to downtown Wichita each year,” says Brewer.
“That’s another boost to the momentum that we’re building to make Wichita the next great American river city.”
Jeff Fluhr of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation told the crowd the headquarters will be the first new building built along the core of Douglas in 38 years.
“We’ll be able to walk down to this block to say here are the design principles that we’ve been talking about in our master plan, this is how we want to engage the street,” he says.
“This is how this project relates to this one and again from a historic fabric but also brand new construction, how that all really works together and well.”
Fluhr says the new construction will be part of the Douglas Block branding iniative called Block One, recognizing the start of a new beginning in the district.
The 36,000 square foot LEED-certified Center will be built adjacent to the Foundation’s building at Topeka and Douglas.
Construction is expected to be completed by next July.