By Michael Bushnell
The Kansas City Museum has officially kicked off a $15 million dollar construction renovation and restoration project slated for completion in 2019.
During a Tuesday, October 10 kickoff event, KCMO Parks Director Mark McHenry noted the early accomplishments of Northeast neighborhood leaders in the long-term restoration project, citing the late Ruthanne Harper, former City Councilwoman Deb Hermann and former Indian Mound President and present Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner for keeping the project on the city’s radar.
“Had it not been for the diligent work by Northeast neighborhood leaders, we would not be where we are with this project,” McHenry said.
At the event, Wagner spoke of his early involvement with the Museum project and enthusiastically praised the team that city staff and museum management have assembled.
“I cant tell you how excited I am to stand be fore you in this hall where statesmen, businessmen and politicians have stood to launch this project,” Wagner said. “This has been a long time coming and I’m excited beyond belief to finally press the start button.”
Wagner went on to thank those involved with the Making a Museum KC capital campaign, and suggested that even with the City’s general obligation funds behind the project, more will need to be raised to complete all phases of renovations at the Kansas City Museum.
“We only have so much money in the city, even with general obligation bonds,” Wagner said. “So please be a part of that capital campaign.”
City Manager Troy Schulte was effusive in his praise not only for the museum project but also for the momentum being shown throughout the Northeast community.
Schulte cited the diligent work of the six Northeast Neighborhood associations, as well as the work done by the Northeast Chamber and the Independence Avenue CID.
“Independence Avenue was once a wreck but with the work of the Northeast Chamber and the Avenue CID, it is quickly becoming a crown jewel in this city,” Schulte said. “Historic Northeast and the Kansas City Museum is THE place to be and it’s due to the work being done by these great organizations. We couldn’t be happier to be here and be a part of this great community. I’ve been walking in to this building for over a decade. Its time for a change, and that change starts today.”
The city has scheduled a series of groundbreakings for October and November. Visit makingamuseumkc.org/ to learn more about the museum’s fundraising efforts or to donate to the cause.