Children’s Mercy Hospital broke ground Thursday on a research tower that its leaders say will put it among the world’s elite pediatric hospitals.
Powered by $150 million in charitable donations, the tower will be the tallest building on Hospital Hill and the glass facade on its north side, visible from downtown Kansas City, will be a major style departure from the traditional red brick of the rest of the hospital.
“I think it sends a signal, a clear, intentional signal, that times have changed,” said Michael Artman, the chairman of the hospital’s Department of Pediatrics. “This is not your father’s children’s hospital. This is a new thing. This represents a bold new era in the evolution of Children’s Mercy.”
City officials approved plans for the tower project last month.
A $75 million donation from the Sunderland Foundation will go entirely toward the estimated $200 million in construction costs, which will also be paid through bonds and future fundraising.
Bill Hall, the Hall Family Foundation’s president, said his organization’s $75 million donation is flexible. Some can be put toward construction, but hospital officials also plan to put some aside for endowments to pay researchers.