Partnership to form K-State Olathe earns awards

July 1, 2010

OLATHE, Kan. - In a world where choices are so abundant that it is sometimes hard to get people to agree on toppings for a pizza, it seems a tad obvious that creating a partnership between multiple universities, several city entities and a state entity is a rather astounding achievement.

Still, recognition is always nice. For its partnership with Kansas State University (KSU), the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA), the Olathe School District, Mid-America Nazarene University (MNU), and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce in the creation of the Kansas Bioscience Park, Olathe received a 2009 Award for Program Excellence in Community Partnership Awards from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for its "programs or processes that demonstrate innovation, excellence, and success in multi-participant involvement between and/or among a local government and other government entities, private sector businesses, individuals, or non-profit agencies to improve the quality of life for residents or provide more efficient and effective services," according to an ICMA press release.

In the nomination form of the award, representatives from KSU, KBA, MNU, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, the Olathe School District and the City of Olathe stated the success of this partnership was built on two precepts. The first was the motivation to make the vision a reality. Groups compromised in order to allow the project to proceed and come together. Another aspect of the planning that benefited the whole was that all of the partners listened to the people in their organizations who have the expertise to work out the minute but essential details.

K-State Olathe also received recognition as a Sustainable Success Story from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). Schlagel and Associates applied for the award, which was given by the team of MARC and the 4-A Collaborative, an organization representing allied planning and design professions in the metro area. According to the report, "the Success Stories selection committee was particularly impressed by the public-private partnerships reflected by this project and the innovative financing techniques chosen to fund the development."

The objective of the MARC/4-A Collaborative partnership is to highlight and promote exemplary sustainability-related policies, programs, practices or projects in the nine-county Kansas City region of Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.

- By Ashley Dunkak -