All of us at Make It Right are big fans of Kansas City, Missouri – its grand parks and fountains, stately old homes, schools and office buildings and the beautiful fall colors you see everywhere around town this time of year.
But we think one KC spot has all the rest beat. On Saturday, November 9, we cut the ribbon on our latest project, Bancroft School Apartments in Kansas City’s Manheim Park neighborhood. Over the last year, we worked with our local partners, like Dalmark Group, NHS and the Green Impact Zone, to renovate a badly damaged historic school and build new homes. See pictures from the ribbon cutting / opening day here.
Built in 1904 and abandoned and boarded up for more than 13 years, Bancroft School reopened to provide residents with 50 affordable rental units and community amenities, including an auditorium, gym, computer lab and gardens. New town homes, designed by Kansas City-based BNIM Architects, were built around the perimeter of the school to add additional housing.
Bancroft School Apartments meet the highest standards of green building. Some of the sustainable features of the building include:
- a 75 kilowatt solar array – more than 400 panels strong – installed the historic building’s roof
- 2,220 gallons of no-VOC paint, donated by Benjamin Moore from their Aura and Natura lines
- 40,000 square feet of Cradle to Cradle certified hardwood flooring and carpet, donated by Shaw Floors from their EPIC flooring line
- Occupancy sensors to manage energy consumption and costs, donated by Leviton
- Energy-efficient windows
- Fresh air ventilation
- Pervious concrete parking lot
- Reclaimed brick walkways
- Native landscaping
The renovation was a lot of hard work – and we’re very proud of it. But what’s even better is that these high-quality, green, affordable apartments and community spaces will be available to people in need – disabled veterans, youth transitioning out of foster care, senior citizens and low-income families.
And that is what makes this the most beautiful place in Kansas City.
Read statements from Brad Pitt and our Kansas City partners at the ribbon cutting ceremony:
“As a fellow Missourian, it brings me great pride that Make It Right can be of service in my home state,” said Brad Pitt, Make It Right’s founder. “This beautiful building will provide housing for many people in need. We also hope it serves as a catalyst for new life and new investment in the community of Manheim Park.”
“This is truly a wonderful day,” said U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II. “We have come so far from the days of creating the Green Impact Zone to working for more jobs, greater energy efficiency and a better quality of life for all who live and work here. The repurposed Bancroft School now opens as a shining example of our progress, improvement and success.”
“We’re proud to continue our partnership with Make It Right, building upon our initial work together in New Orleans with this latest project in Kansas City,” said Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet and a leading floor covering provider. “Make It Right’s efforts to create affordable, high-performance, well-designed homes is not only in alignment with our focus on Cradle to Cradle in our manufacturing and flooring product design, but with our corporate vision to create a better future.”
“Building this relationship with Make It Right is a perfect fit for Leviton, as it aligns with our brand purpose of helping families and supporting communities with energy efficient solutions,” said Daryoush Larizadeh, Leviton’s Chief Operating Officer. “Through our partnership, Leviton will be able to see communities grow while providing a deeper understanding of how our products help to make buildings safe, efficient and sustainable.”
“As a proud partner on the Bancroft School project, we are pleased to help meet the needs and vision of Manheim Park Neighborhood residents while supporting U.S. Bank’s mission of strengthening and energizing the communities we serve,” said Lynn Craghead, senior vice president, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. “Today, through the hard work and dedication of many, the restored Bancroft School is an example of how public-private partnerships can drive meaningful change. Our hope is that Bancroft School will be a community gathering space and a source of hope and vitality for years to come.”
“Kansas City’s best kept urban core secret: Manheim Park is a neighborhood that found its Why for change, then collectively as a community with vision found the Will,” said Saundra Hayes, president of the Historic Manheim Park Association. “The partners, stakeholders, investors and friends found the Way and because of the stakeholders’ trust, investment and commitment—hope was reborn in a neighborhood that had known blight for almost a century. That expectation along with courage fueled the regeneration journey and because of the stakeholders making good on the promise the neighborhood now has Wings and will continue to fly.”
“Bancroft signals a catalytic shift in community revitalization,” said Bob Berkebile of BNIM Architects. “This effort has already resulted in a remarkable reduction in crime and increase in hope. As residents soon claim their new homes the legacy will become the development of human capital by design. This project is urban acupuncture and it redefines urban redevelopment.”