Remembering the past: KCUMB gives tour of old Children’s Mercy Hospital building before its renovation

Posted August 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm


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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Before moving on with its Campus Master Plan of renovations and expansions, the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences took some time to reflect on the past.

KCUMB has plans to renovate its administrative building, which housed Children’s Mercy Hospital from 1916 until 1970. On Monday, Aug. 4, KCUMB hosted a tour with senior staffers from Children’s Mercy during those years, and the group shared stories from the building’s past.

“Our history is very much so tied to Children’s Mercy Hospital’s history,” Dr. Marc Hahn, KCUMB’s president, said.

Dr. V. Fred Burry, Dr. Jane Lampo, Dr. Charles Roberts, Dr. Karen Cox, and others in attendance worked in the building when it belonged to Children’s Mercy. After 1970, with money raised from KCUMB alumni, the medical school bought the building from Children’s Mercy and moved in as its student population grew.

KCUMB has already completed several projects under its five-year Campus Master Plan, and the renovation of the administrative building, which will begin in September, is the next step. The building’s rooftop deck will be expanded, and the building will be brought up to code by adding additional restrooms and staircases. Training rooms and gathering spaces for students will also be added to the four-story building, according to Hahn.

“We’ll maintain the classic look on the outside but have a more contemporary look on the inside,” Hahn said of the building, which was built in 1916.

In addition to renovating the administrative building, which is at Independence and Woodland Avenues, KCUMB will also add a large facility, the Center for Medical Simulation, across the street. The center will be a 27,000 square-foot building to be completed within the next two years.

“We’ve evolved quite a bit since 1916,” Hahn said. “But there are things we need to try and maintain.”

A Look Ahead. Dr. Marc Hahn, left, explains the upcoming renovations of KCUMB's administrative building to a group of senior staffers from Children's Mercy Hospital. The building housed Children's Mercy from 1916 to 1970 before it was purchased by KCUMB. Micah Wilkins