The Deaconess Foundation chose KAI as the design-builder for the new 21,272 SF, $6.1 million Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being, located on North Vandeventer, just north of Delmar at the edge of the Grand Center Arts District.
The center provides classrooms, meeting rooms, chapel and a conference space for up to 125 people as well as administrative offices for the Deaconess Foundation, Vision for Children at Risk and Neighborhood Houses. Over 40 employees were relocated from offices in downtown St. Louis and the JeffVanderLou neighborhood into the new facility. The building is expected to host over 6,000 individuals at more than 250 communal gatherings annuals, all focused on improving children’s lives.
The design and construction plans call for the building to reflect Deaconess’ religious legacy as well as its commitment to social issues. Those include participation targets of 35% for minority business enterprises and 15% women business enterprises, both which exceed the City of St. Louis’ goals. The site selection also indicates the Deaconess Foundation’s commitment by choosing a location that is in close proximity to the City’s family court and juvenile detention center, is highly accessible and supports the North Central Plan development initiative.