School Site Details
Together with community members and local housing partners, the City of KCMO, KCPS, and IFF, a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant and developer, are pursuing a $24 million redevelopment of the historic R. J. DeLano School as a youth housing and supportive services center. Informed by an 8-month Feasibility Study, project partners are working to provide:
- Transitional Living: 18-24 individual units for youth ages 17-21 and wraparound services to improve standard of living, self-sufficiency and independence
- Emergency Shelter: 15 single occupancy units of short-term housing for youth ages 14-18 to mitigate the immediate crisis and support youth with long-term housing placements
- Drop-in Center: provides access to supportive services and crisis intervention for community youth experiencing homelessness, housing instability or food insecurity
The project team is in the process of identifying service providers/operators and raising necessary funding for the project. To date, KCPS has secured a $1MM ReBuildKC grant from the City of Kansas City, MO to fund site prep, environmental abatement and interior demo/clean-out. KCPS anticipates bidding out the work in Winter 2023/24 with work to begin in early 2024.
The project team anticipates construction documents to be complete in late 2024 and construction to be complete in late 2025/early 2026.
DeLano At A Glance
Year Built: 1939
Square Feet: 46,195
Neighborhood: South Round Top
Year Closed: 2011
Historic Designation: Listed in National Register
New Markets Tax Credit: Eligible
Opportunity Zone: Not Applicable
The DeLano School was closed in 2011 and officially moved to the mothballed list in 2016 as part of the KCPS Master Plan. It was designated as mothballed for the land only and a candidate for demolition, as the facility shares a site with the Central athletic complex and is across the street from Central Middle and Central High Schools. In 2022, KCPS confirmed DeLano’s mothballed status, but removed it as a candidate for demolition.
The DeLano School was built in 1938/1939 to provide a state-of-the-art facility to address the academic and therapeutic needs of local children with mental and physical disabilities. Designed by prominent local architects Keene & Simpson and financed in part with funds from The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an ambitious employment and infrastructure program created by President Roosevelt in 1935, during the bleakest years of the Great Depression. The two-story brick building incorporated traditional classrooms, specialized treatment rooms, and a large central ramp to connect the multiple levels. The DeLano School was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2022 and is therefore eligible for Historic Tax Credits.