As part of a tour of the Kansas City metro area, Christa Dubill visited with residents and staffers in Lenexa, Kan., to learn more about the city and what makes it important.
41 Action News Anchor Christa Dubill visited Lenexa as part of her Tour de KC Metro. She started and ended her tour at City Hall.
Students from Holy Trinity were visiting City Hall on the day of our visit. They asked great questions of Mayor Michael Boehm.
Police Chief Tom Hongslo, Fire Chief Dan Rhodus, Christa Dubill, Municipal Services Director Chuck Williams, and Parks and Rec Director Gary Ristow - Lenexa, KS
Lenexa is in the process of installing welcoming signs around town. This one can be seen heading westbound from 95th and Quivira.
Lenexa Fire station #1 at 96th and Pflumm was a stop on our tour.
The Lenexa Fire Department is only one in the state with a tiller truck. The Fire Chief offered to let me drive the back end. I was nervous, but did.
The firefighers made sure I had appropriate attire to drive the truck.
I was nervous to steer the back half of the tiller truck, so this nice firefighter, Eric, agreed to safety harness himself in the door of the cab so he could help me if I had trouble.
The Lenexa fire department is the only department in the state with a tiller truck. I drove the back half of the truck through some parking lots. Wasn't easy, but I didn't hit a curb...or anything else. (I had a good teacher)
Whew. Back on steady ground. (the fire department says the tiller is helpful maneuvering smaller roadways and cul-de-sacs)
Next we drove to what many people call the caves. I learned today they are actually mines (caves are natural, mines are man-made). This is Property Manager Lonnie Cannon. There are 6 million sq feet underground, 2.5 million of those developed.
Meritex entrance to 2.5 million square feet of developed, leased space. They rely on the several entrances to naturally circulate the air. They check air quality regularly.
The mines have underground roads with space on each side for either parking or business leases.
Inside the Meritex mines in Lenexa, there are signs similar to street signs letting you know where you are in the mine.
Here's an aerial shot of the area where Meritex sits. You can see, comparitively, how big the underground development is.
Here's a template of what businesses are where in the mines. The elongated rectangle on the top far right is called the NARA ice cube. It's temperature controlled for optimal preserved storage.
One of the underground tenants is Cavern Technologies . They lease space to companies needing massive data storage. Each of the doors in this hallway represents a secured space for client data centers.
Cavern Technologies has face recognition technology to get into each of the company's suites in their space in the Meriitex mines. VP of Bus. Dev. Kevin Fleming showed us how it worked.
The machine recognized Mr. Fleming, the door unlocked.
I decided to be a diligant journalist and test the face-scan technology. I stood still and stared into the machine (which I, personally, think needs a name - like, Vicki or Joshua)
It did not let me in. (Thanks for nothing, whatever your name is!)
Inside the door seen from the hallway, this particular space had an entrance room and another door. Notice the rugged cave walls.
Some rooms have a collection of "racks" housing different company's data.
Security cameras panel at Cavern Technologies in the Meritex mines in Lenexa.
Cavern Technologies is housed in the Meritex mines in Lenexa. The company is a private cloud for businesses. They can back up a company's emails, transactions, data, consumer records, etc.
Next we visited Terry Huston at Partners Kan-Verting. They provide the paper for dog food labels, among other things.
One of these rolls of paper weighs 4500 pounds.
"4500 pounds?!?!? I bet I can lift it!"...I could not.
Another business housed in the Mertitex mines.
Partners Kan-Verting has an indoor, underground basketball goal. When I jokingly acted jealous of this amazingness, Terry simply said, "grandkids".
Grand Street is a restaurant at the city's new City Center. The area at 87th and Renner is in development now. Perceptive Software opens the end of May and will eventually employ 2,000 people.
Lunch at Grand Street Cafe with Mayor Mike Boehm, City Admin. Eric Wade, and Chamber President Blake Schreck. Most don't realize there's a second location for the Country Club Plaza favorite. Location: 87th & Renner
We drove by by the famous Legler Barn. We didn't have time to stop the morning I was there, but I plan to get back and visit. I hear it's amazing, and several have told me about the quilts.
This is what Legler Barn looked like before it was moved to its current location. It orginally stood on the Santa Fe Trail at the corner of 95th and Quivira.
A couple of things had to be cut from the agenda because the we got behind, but here's a picture of the current Legler Barn. It's worth a stop if you've never been.