IDEA Space Announces New Name, Gift at Groundbreaking

Dignitaries and donors gathered for the groundbreaking of the newly-named Dan and Cassidy Towriss IDEA Space KC in Leawood, Kansas, on Thursday, Sept. 16. President of The Barstow Schools Shane Foster announced a $2 million gift to the STEAM learning center during the event.
“We are thrilled and excited to announce that last week, we secured a leadership gift from Dan Towriss and Cassidy Rudman Towriss, a Barstow alumna from the Class of 2012,” Foster said. “This gift brings us to almost 100% of our $8 million capital campaign goal, and it turns our vision of a collaborative center for Innovation, Discovery, Entrepreneurship and Arts into reality.” 

Powered by The Barstow School and designed to serve students from diverse neighborhoods and socioeconomic backgrounds, the Dan and Cassidy Towriss IDEA Space will be a resource where students from public and private schools across the Kansas City area will engage in hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). It will provide programming through after-school programs, summer camps and school and non-profit partnerships that broaden and diversify pipelines into four key workforce development areas: skilled trades, engineering, advanced manufacturing and computer science. The repurposed grocery store will feature an Incubation Hub, Makerspace, Technology Lab and Fabrication Workshop where students will have access to cutting-edge tools and will use them to increase their comfort and confidence in STEAM fields.

“We are pleased to support The Barstow School in this exciting endeavor to create IDEA Space. Dan and I believe IDEA Space has the potential to have a positive impact on thousands of school-age children throughout the Kansas City area,” Cassidy Towriss ’12 said. “As a Barstow alumna, I’m proud to see Barstow investing in a new space that will serve children for years to come and be a wonderful example in the Kansas City community and to communities across the country.”

A group of IDEA Space leaders, donors and dignitaries — including Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas ’02 and Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn — marked the start of construction with a ceremonial groundbreaking in the IDEA Space parking lot. JE Dunn Construction began work inside the building on Sept. 1, with a projected opening date in mid-2022.
    • Jeff Schutzler of Pluribus Architectural Collective, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas '02, Barstow President Shane Foster, Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn, Barstow Trustee Soni Patel and Tom Whittaker '83 of JE Dunn break ground at the Dan and Cassidy Towriss IDEA Space KC.

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