Kansas City Museum hosts ‘Donuts with Dunn’

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

As construction begins on the $15 million renovation and restoration of Corinthian Hall, Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera knows that Northeast residents need to be provided with regular progress reports.

That’s why the Museum will host quarterly meetings between community members and representatives with construction partner J.E. Dunn. The first such meeting – dubbed ‘Donuts with Dunn’ – was held on the evening of Wednesday, November 8 in the Museum’s carriage house. Tutera hopes the meetings will help the community develop a strong rapport with J.E. Dunn during the construction process.

“I just really hope that people take advantage of these meetings; that neighbors come out, that they feel comfortable voicing their concerns, that they feel comfortable asking questions, and that they feel comfortable coming up with ideas that maybe we haven’t thought about as far as communications,” said Tutera.

Representing J.E. Dunn at the meeting were vice president Jeff Blaesing, senior project manager Jim Schneider, and field superintendent Darcy Ahrens. Blaesing started the meeting by relaying J.E. Dunn’s excitement for the project.

“This building, once it’s restored to its former glory, will tell the story of Kansas City for years to come,” said Blaesing.

J.E. Dunn began mobilizing at the Museum on November 1. A 14-month project, the goal is to finish by January of 2019. Construction hours will typically be from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, though some exceptions are likely to be necessary. During peak construction windows, 60-75 workers are expected to be on site. According to the J.E. Dunn representatives, no more than 100 workers are ever expected to be at the job site at any one time. Though utilities will be affected at Corinthian Hall, Schneider noted that the impact will be contained to the museum grounds.

“There shouldn’t be any disruption to any of the utilities around the neighborhood,” Schneider said.

The work will include restoring the soda fountain and billiards room in the basement, recreating the historic look of the living room, restoring the decorative plaster on the first floor, repairing window wells, addressing leaky spots throughout the building and installing a new ADA accessible ramp on the west side of Corinthian Hall.

The equipment that area residents can expect to see at the Kansas City Museum include cranes, jackhammers, and dumpster trucks. For brief spells, concrete trucks may be blocking the street, though Blaesing, Ahrens, and Schneider assured attendees that they would still be able to get in and out of their homes.

Ahrens asked attendees for any suggestions as construction begins, so that she can set firm ground rules for the construction site.

“If you guys can help me set those expectations, I think this will go a lot smoother,” Ahrens said.

Staff Hedenkamp represented the Kansas City Museum team during the meeting. She asked attendees to call her at 816-506-4630 or email her at steff@redquill.com with any questions during construction. She also reminded those in attendance that during construction, the spirit of the Kansas City Museum will remain alive and well at the ancillary space in the Historic Garment District (800 Broadway).

“We’re definitely keeping the pulse of the Museum going, even during construction,” Hedenkamp said.

J.E. Dunn staff representatives spoke to Northeast residents on Wednesday, November 8.

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