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KANSAS CITY, MO-In a few short weeks, administrative personnel will start moving intothe grand Stowers Institute for Medical Research, being built a coupleof blocks east of the Country Club Plaza. The Stowers Institute, at 600,000-sf and at a cost of $200 million,is one of the largest projects to be built near the Plaza.

The twin towers of American Century Financial, theinstitution started by Jim Stowers, are two other impressive buildingsthat he has developed near the Plaza.The Stowers Institute sits on a 10-acre site that formerly was the homeof Menorah Hospital. Rather than raze the hospital, Stowers hired RickFortner, project superintendent for J.E. Dunn Construction the generalcontractor, to work with the existing framework.

“We researched this quite extensively and we proved to Mr. Stowersthat it would be cheaper to take it to the ground and come back,”Fortner says. “But he made the decision that, for historical reasonsand for Kansas City, he was going to leave part of Menorah Hospital forsentimental reasons.”

The Stowers Institute, 1000 E. 50th St., will have 530,000 sfdedicated for research facilities, 90,000 sf for scientificsupport space, 70,000 sf for administrative offices and a 600space parking garage. Construction began in July 1998 and will becompleted over ten years. More than 600 construction workers and a total of2,500 people have been employed on the project.

Eventually, the Institute will have the capacity for 50 to 60 principalinvestigators, with each directing teams of ten researchers. The researchcomplex will have six stories and the four-story administrative buildingwill have apartments for visiting researchers.Kansas City-based architectural firm Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets ishandling the exterior and overall design. MBT Architecture in SanFrancisco is handling the interior design.

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