Kansas City's Bolling Federal Building Rededicated Following Renovation

Nov. 6, 2015

The Heartland Region's flagship federal office building has been completely updated and modernized through a combination of four renovation projects spanning the last 14 years.

Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, MOCelebrating the completion of a 14-year project that modernized and renovated all 18 floors of the Richard Bolling Federal Building, GSA's Heartland Regional Administrator Jason Klumb, tenant agency leaders and project partners gathered for a public ceremony Friday to rededicate the iconic downtown Kansas City facility.

Klumb and other dignitaries noted that completion of the $280 million project comes 50 years after the opening of the building, at 601 E. 12th St. In a four-phased project that began in 2001, new energy-efficient workspaces, enhanced security features and new lobby areas were installed. By dividing the project into four phases, GSA was able to maintain a high level of occupancy throughout the project. In addition, the Bolling building has been fully abated of all asbestos fireproofing.

“While the need to preserve the character of historic buildings will always be a priority for GSA, our approach to design and construction today ensures our federal spaces meet the modern needs of the government,” Klumb said. “By focusing on details such as a visitor’s first impression, sustainability, integration of fine art, interior design and total workspace solutions, GSA’s modernization project team, our building managers, our tenants, and our incredible design and construction partners have successfully converted this facility from a class C government building to a technologically advanced, “Class A” modern office space.”

To put the scope of the modernization project into perspective, Klumb said, consider that the Bolling building takes up two city blocks and is 25 percent larger than Kansas City’s biggest commercial multi-tenant office property.

Helping GSA celebrate the project were representatives from the Social Security Administration, Helix Architecture + Design, Gastinger-Walker Architects and J.E. Dunn Construction.

Social Security Regional Commissioner Ken Powell, representing the largest group among Bolling’s nearly 3,000 tenants, thanked GSA for successfully transforming office spaces while balancing the various interests of different agencies with unique requirements and individual needs.

"I had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the magic that took place here," he said.

Klumb also praised the GSA building management team for their continued focus on the building tenants throughout all four phases of the modernization.

“One of the most astonishing feats accomplished by this team and field office was their ability to maintain on-going communication with building tenants,” Klumb said. “Completing a project like this in a near fully occupied building is hard enough...To do it while still maintaining some of GSA’s highest tenant satisfaction scores in the country is simply outstanding!”

U.S. Rep. Richard Walker Bolling

“For us, the Bolling Federal Building is as good as it gets,” Klumb said, noting that GSA was created at the end of the 1940s, about the time that Richard Bolling was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Bolling represented Missouri’s 5th congressional district from 1949 to 1983, retiring after serving four years as the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Rules. Among many legislative achievements, Bolling helped broker the compromise that led to construction of the federal building in Kansas City rather than in Denver. The facility opened in 1965 and was known as the Federal Building or simply “601 East 12th” until 1994, when it was renamed in honor of Bolling. The retired congressman died in April 1991 at age 74.

Klumb said that Bolling “became a model of what a legislator could and should be.” Gary Barnes, one of Bolling’s former staff members, noted that as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Bolling introduced the discharge petition that released the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from the Senate's committee -- a vital step to passing the historic legislation.

Major Renovation Achievements

  • Complete hazardous materials abatement of existing spray on fireproofing and limited lead paint from the structural steel frame and metal deck within the building.
  • New spray on fire protection of the structural steel frame.
  • Complete demolition (finishes, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, restrooms) of each floor to a bare shell.
  • Complete renovation of existing mechanical room air handling units.
  • New air distributions systems and controls.
  • New plumbing system infrastructure and high performance fixtures.
  • New fire protection sprinkler systems.
  • New electrical panel boards and horizontal distribution system.
  • New high performance lighting systems to include daylight and occupancy sensors.
  • New Fire alarm system.
  • New elevator lobby and public space finishes.
  • New public restrooms.
  • GSA Art-in Architecture installations.
  • Correction of various ADA accessibility issues.
  • Seismic upgrades to meet current building codes.
  • Creation of noninvasive perimeter security measures.
  • Perimeter façade blast protection systems.
  • Replaced aging roofs with high performance systems.
  • Replaced existing single pane vision glass/frames with high performance window systems.
  • Replaced perimeter curtain wall insulation with high performance insulation.
  • Sealed the perimeter facade to eliminate air and water infiltration.
  • Added underground cisterns to capture rainwater for site irrigation and lessen the need for building water consumption.
  • Created additional public space on the north side of the building that has a dual function of parking for daycare drop off and pickup.
  • Improved public spaces around the perimeter of the building.
  • Installed LED garage lighting with occupancy sensors.

Richard Bolling Federal Building

Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, Missouri

Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, Missouri

Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, Missouri

Richard Bolling Federal Building, Kansas City, Missouri

Last Reviewed 2016-05-03