Launched by the Kansas Health Foundation in 2005, the Kansas Leadership Center promotes civic leadership with the goal of creating stronger, healthier communities. To be able to do more for the community, the organization needed a built-to-suit, statewide headquarters that would include a conference center for the Kansas Health Foundation.

With experience in institutional construction and headquarters development, Opus initially began working with the Kansas Leadership Center to assist the organization in identifying its needs—building size, building features and amenities and budget.

Opus worked on these elements for about a year while the Kansas Leadership Center searched for the perfect property. Ultimately, a site next to the Kansas Health Foundation was chosen. Opus’ integrated design-build approach appealed to the client as it allowed them to hire one cohesive team with vast experience rather than bidding an architect and contractor individually. Opus Design Build, L.L.C. and Opus AE Group, L.L.C. were selected to design and construct the new three-story facility, the first new office building in downtown Wichita in 40 years.

Leveraging Vast Internal Experience to Meet Needs

Opus leveraged its unique design-build process and in-house expertise to create solutions that met the needs of this multi-use facility.

The small project site posed design challenges for the Opus team. Taking into account factors such as definite property lines, sidewalks and nearby structures, Opus worked closely with Kansas Leadership Center staff to develop an architectural design that was complementary to the building's surrounding while still fulfilling the organization’s desired objectives.

The close proximity to the Kansas Health Foundation building creates a campus feel. The new building carries on the Prairie- or Mission-style design while also reflecting its original limestone by using complimentary-colored architectural precast concrete.

Committed to delivering the client’s visions, Opus sought an open and inviting face to the public streetscape. This was achieved with several architectural design features, including a highly transparent glass vestibule facing the streetscape and organizing the interior spaces around a circulation spine and pathway that leads from the building entrance, up the open stairs to a second floor library loft space and up another set of open stairs to the top floor.

Certified LEED Gold

The third LEED Gold certified building in Wichita, the center incorporated many sustainable finishes and features, including: 
  • locker rooms, showers and bike racks to encourage alternative transportation,
  • minimized light spill from the building onto the adjacent street and properties,
  • regional drought-resistant landscape materials,
  • water-conserving fixtures that reduce potable water use by 45%,
  • local construction and finish materials and
  • furniture that doesn’t emit VOCs and other harmful aldehydes.

Renovating the Main Facility for Further Collaboration

Following the success of the Leadership Center, Kansas Health Foundation tapped Opus to complete renovations in their main building. The Foundation promotes healthy communities across the state of Kansas. Increasing the function and efficiency of their facility has allowed them to have a stronger impact on the wellbeing of communities across the state.

The Foundation’s office areas and conference spaces were remodeled, the exterior windows were replaced and the exterior façade was upgraded. Through their work, Opus was able to create a collaborative, open office environment that consolidated all of the offices onto the first level and opened up the rest of the building to expand the meeting and conference spaces that are crucial to their work. This created a more functional, efficient and collaborative facility.

Opus AE Group, L.L.C., designed the space to enhance existing design features like the ornate millwork and stained glass.

Opus completed the renovations in January 2019.