Quivira Council, Boy Scouts of America Launches Public Phase of Capital Campaign to Fund Koch Scouti

September 14, 2012

The Executive Board of the Quivira Council, Boy Scouts of America announced the “Reach the Summit” public phase of the capital campaign to fund the final $300,000 for the Koch Scouting Center. To date, the Quivira Council has raised $5.7 million of the $6 million campaign, of which $4 million funded improvements at the Council’s two camps – Camp Kanza near Hutchinson, Kan. and Quivira Scout Ranch near Sedan, Kan.

The remaining $2 million is to fund a new building with expanded programs and services for Scout families and volunteers to replace the current service center located in Wichita at 2nd and New York streets, east of downtown.

The new service center will be located at K-96 and Oliver, next to Rainbows United. The location was made possible by a donation of 5 acres of land plus a cash gift by Koch Industries valued at a total of $500,000. To date, $1.7 million of the $2 million to build the new 14,000 square foot center has been raised. Many well-known businesses and business families are among the donors to support the service center, including INTRUST Bank, Spirit AeroSystems, Star Lumber Goebel Family Foundation, Garvey Family Foundation, Stannard Family Foundation, Cox Communications, Lattner Family Foundation and Sunderland Foundation.

“We are fortunate that so many companies, families and people have recognized the profound impact that Scouting has on boys and young men,” said Brad Bechtel, President of AGH Wealth Advisors and Quivira Council President. “With their generosity as a strong foundation, now is the time to publicly launch the final effort of the campaign. We are calling this last push, ‘Reaching the Summit’ because we know it’s just up the mountain a little bit, and it’s a great view when we get there.”

One selling point for the final public push is that the Kansas Department of Commerce has awarded tax credits to the Quivira Council to support the capital campaign.

“The tax credit program is tremendous benefit for those who are considering supporting Scouting in our capital efforts by providing a Kansas tax credit equal to 50% of a person’s gift,” Bechtel said. “A donor receives this credit, along with the regular tax benefit of a charitable gift which can significantly reduce a person’s tax liability.” 

Volunteer leadership is excited about the benefits of the new space for Scouts, their families and other volunteers. A significant portion of the new building will provide meeting and conference room space for Scouts, volunteers and outside organizations.

In addition to offices and meeting and conference space, the new center will feature a National Scout Shop which will be four times the size of the current retail area, offering a larger selection of supplies and expanded hours.

Doug Neff, Council Vice President of Endowment and Executive Vice President at Commerce said, “We knew we had numerous challenges at our current location, including accessibility at the three-level building to limited hours and limited supplies in our retail store. The new service center will provide greater service and tools to everyone.”

The current office, built in 1973, has 9,700 square feet on three levels, is not ADA compliant and has only 950 square feet of space for trainings or meetings. The new service center will provide a training and conference room available to volunteers and technology kiosks in the program area to update advancement, training or registration records.

For the Koch Scouting Center, Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture designed efficiency at low cost through the utilization of “zones” including retail space, volunteer areas of training and conference rooms and staff offices. The zones allow for more efficient energy use so that retail space or training rooms can be available without the entire building being open and incurring utility costs.

In addition, Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture planned for efficient use of materials, including a 50-year roof and an HVAC mezzanine that doubles as concrete storm shelter. The outside will feature a nature walk and low water, natural landscaping features.

As leadership focuses on raising the final $300,000, the projected date for beginning construction is February 2013 with completion in September.

“The generosity of Wichita area businesses and individuals continues to humble and inspire us,” Neff said. “They understand and appreciate that Scouting makes a difference in the lives of our youth and are truly our partners in building tomorrow’s leaders today.”

Scout Executive Mike Johnson recognized the volunteer board saying, “The Quivira Council is very fortunate to have an Executive Board of men and women committed to Scouting. They are true leaders who have both given and raised $5.7 million during challenging financial times.”

The Quivira Council, Boy Scouts of America serves more than 13,000 youth and their families in 30 counties in south-central Kansas. Based on surveys of Scouts, more than 90 percent said that Scouting has helped them achieve academically, grow in a healthy lifestyle, develop personal fitness and healthy habits and be a better family member, among other positive outcomes. 

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