The Kansas City Star Production Complex

The Kansas City Star Production Complex

Location: Kansas City, Mo.

Client: The Kansas City Star

Completion Date: 2006

The Kansas City Star, a former Knight-Ridder newspaper now part of the McClatchy Co. family of newspapers, awarded Burns & McDonnell a construction management contract to complete the massive new 424,000-square-foot newspaper production complex in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The original design-build company declared bankruptcy and Burns & McDonnell stepped in to complete the work. The $199 million press pavilion houses four new KBA Commander Presses, which improve the appearance of the newspaper and give The Star more flexibility in how it packages and distributes its product.

The building has become a prominent element in the downtown Kansas City landscape and was the tipping point for downtown revitalization. Two city blocks have been transformed into a huge splash of color, similar to how the new presses will add color to the newspaper. The focal point of the building, the press hall, is enclosed with transparent, high-intensity blue glass, allowing the public to watch the presses run. All building materials were selected to reflect the industrial process and 21st century technology. The production facility rises from four stories on the south end to more than 8-stories on the north end and is clad with pre-patinated copper panels, high-performance blue glass and precast concrete panels.

The Star’s four KBA presses have 216 couples, 36 towers, 40 reelstands and six folders. Packaging and distribution includes four GMA SLS 3000 inserting machines, four Schur palletizing cells, a Ferag gripper system and 11 distribution docks. The Job Shop printing operation with two Didde presses has been included in the lower level of the complex and went into operation in July 2005, along with the packaging and distribution center. Press production started in April 2006 and went live in June 2006.