Iconic St. Joseph Building to Get Extensive Renovations

Iconic St. Joseph Building to Get Extensive Renovations

The Patee Market building, which houses the health clinic and Social Welfare Board, is about to get a facelift.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Patee Market building - an iconic building in St. Joseph - will be getting a facelift.

"It's a big pillar of the community," said Kendra Bundy, assistant health director. "People need to see that we take care of it and we value it.  We want to maintain the roof so we don't have leaks and we can maintain the infrastructure."

The roof is just the start.

There will be some aesthetic rebuffs to the outside of the building, with particular attention to the windows.

But the lion's share of the project funding will go for the inside of the building. All the walls will be repainted, most of the floors will be redone, ceilings will be redone, and they'll replace the elevator.

"Nothing lasts forever.  You try to keep your favorite old shirt in good shape as long as you can.  Sooner or later that old shirt will fade or get a hole in it.  You either have to be able to repair it or purchase a new one," said Kelly Kibirige, the Community Health Supervisor.

Kibirige has been working in the building since 1998, when she started as a nurse. She remembers her tiny office, which now houses the copy and fax machines.

She started working only a few years after the last time the building was redone. That was in 1994.

"Whether it's color or a piece of carpet, when you walk in and it's a nice and relaxing environment then that sets the tone for that visit," Kibirige said.

The renovation will be paid for with funds from the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) budget.

"We were able to combine the money from the previous round and the current round and make the most of our architectural design and services by doing it all at once," Bundy said.  "And we think that's an efficient way to do this project."

The whole project will cost $572,542.

"It may sound expensive, the shock of the dollar amount.  But at the same time this is a very large building.  It has several thousand square feet," Bundy said.

Kibirige is quick to point out that there are way more services offered now - and as such - more people.

"We are serving more people in the community; we have more employees working in positions," she said.

For a building that turned 100 years old in 2009, the city believes a renovation is just what it needs to keep it a viable part of the community.

The first step in the project will be replacing the elevator. Bundy says it could still be a few more months before the other renovations can begin.
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